Imagine being the parent of not one child prodigy but three.
Hayley Taylor Schlitz began college at the age of 9, graduated with her Bachelor’s, then applied to nine different law schools at the age of 16 and got into all of them.
It seemed Hayley would forever be known as the child prodigy and crowning jewel of her family.
But Hayley’s achievements also motivated her younger brother, Ian, to pursue a college degree and become an entrepreneur. At the age of 14, Ian is now one year away from graduating with his Bachelor’s degree and is the CEO of his own business.
According to Tarrant County College (TCC), where Hayley received her Associate’s degree, “Both Haley and Ian tested as highly gifted at a young age, and their parents pulled them from public school in order to let them learn at an individualized pace.”
Their father, William Schlitz, told TCC, “Once we got them into a homeschool environment, where we could build and tool their education just for them, they both made rapid advancement.”
Hayley enrolled in college at the age of 9, and after seeing what a great experience his sister was having, Ian was quick to follow her lead. He was ready to enroll in college-level courses by the time he turned 10.
By the time he graduates with his Bachelor’s degree, Ian will be 15. Even before graduating, Ian founded and launched his own business, Kidlamity Gaming, a company that aims to bridge the gap between children and a video game world that is largely dominated by adults in their 20s and 30s.
“I noticed that most of the tournaments were for adults,” Ian told Voyage Dallas. “As a child, I was at a disadvantage. Most of us children did not have space to participate equally. So I created such a space.”
Their mission is to bring safer social interactions to children online instead of simply leaving them alone in front of a screen.
“Kidlamity Gaming brings the kids out of their bedrooms and into the community to interact with each other in real life,” Ian says, explaining that these online social interactions are meant to mirror those that children might experience during sports, music, or other after-school activities.
“Parents often are concerned about online safety and knowing who exactly their child is interacting with. Kidlamity … allows the parents to get to know other parents and creates a community that is based on something their child really enjoys.”
For parents who think homeschooling might be the best fit for their families, Hayley and her mother authored a book together, The Homeschool Alternative. The book covers the importance of the availability of alternative education methods for families of color; the exact topic that allowed Hayley and Ian to reach such great achievements at such young ages.
Now, their younger sister, Hana, is already enrolled in college classes at the age of 12. It remains to be seen what Hana will do with her young life, but one thing is sure: If she intends to follow in her siblings’ footsteps, she’s bound to make an impact.
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