Gifted 16-year-old student will use new license -- to drive herself to law school

Haley Taylor Schlitz will attend SMU Dedman School of Law and commute from home.

Most 16-year-olds have their sights set on the open road with their shiny new driver's license in hand, but Haley Taylor Schlitz has her eyes on a much more profound prize: a law degree.

The Texas native has already been accepted into nine law school programs and said she wants to continue her educational journey in law to "help other students and fight for equity."

Schlitz joined "Good Morning America" along with her dad, William, to discuss her path and how they created opportunities to fast-track her education beyond the walls of a traditional classroom setting, where her talent, they say, was overlooked.

Schlitz said her parents decided to homeschool her when they noticed she wasn't motivated and her grades started to fall.

"I started to become more worried about what my peers thought of me rather than my grades and so my parents decided to pull me out," she explained. "That and I couldn't get into the gifted and talented program, and then they homeschooled me."

"Homeschool really helped me accelerate and go at my own pace, and then I was able to graduate homeschool high school at 13, and now I'm 16 and a senior [in college]," she said happily.

"I think when you have a child, you have all these dreams of the path they'll take and where they'll graduate from," her dad said. "And the one thing our family has learned from our children is [that] parents really have to be open to different opportunities -- things like homeschool, early college, dual enrollment -- and do what's best for their children to let them thrive."

The bright teenager said she chose law school as the reasonable next step in her education path because the idea inspired her.

"It was really my entire educational journey. After looking at it, it really sparked a flame in me to help other students and fight for equity," she said.

Initially, Schlitz studied to be a chemistry major in her first year of community college, because her mom is a doctor and she "wanted to go into medicine."

"But then I looked into my education journey and I realized how many students get looked over from the gifted and talented program," she recalled of her own public school that "wouldn't let me test for the program."

"Had we just been like, 'Oh well, we tried,' and I stayed in public school, I would have missed this amazing opportunity to be where I am today," she said profoundly.

Now, the 16-year-old has accepted "a nice scholarship" and will attend Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, but she won't leave her parents as empty-nesters just yet.

Schlitz passed her driving test just last month and will put her license to good use. "It's close enough for me to commute; I want to stay at home with my family," she said with a huge smile.

The young grad-school-bound student isn't the only academic overachiever in the family. "My brother is a 13-year-old freshman in college; my sister is an 11-year-old freshman in high school."

In her free time, Schlitz said she loves reading, writing, drawing "and playing video games with my siblings," she said. She even admitted, laughing, that her little brother is "way better" than her.

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