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Hana Taylor Schlitz Becomes Youngest Graduate of Texas Woman's University at 16 Following Her Mother's Death

Hana Taylor Schlitz's life is marked by a poignant journey from a remote village in Ethiopia to soon becoming the youngest graduate in Texas Woman's University's history, at age 16, with a major in Sociology. Having lost her mother shortly after birth to tuberculosis (TB), Hana's survival and academic achievements underscore the importance of robust health systems and international support. 

"In 2008, in a small, remote village in Southern Ethiopia, she held me for a fleeting moment—our first and last together. Shortly after my birth, she succumbed to tuberculosis (TB), a treatable disease that cruelly robbed us of a future together."

Despite her early health challenges, Hana's adoption into a loving family, led by her mother, Dr. Myiesha Taylor, provided the care she needed to thrive. Hana's personal triumphs serve as a call to action against TB, which still claims countless lives globally. With TB rates resurging in the United States, Hana advocates for stronger public health measures and international cooperation to eradicate the disease.

"I often find myself pondering the fate of countless children who, unlike me, do not escape the grip of TB," said Schlitz. How many potential Nelson Mandelas, Albert Einsteins, Marie Curies, or Malala Yousafzai have been lost to a disease that we have the means to treat and prevent?"

Her academic pursuits reflect her commitment to social change, aiming to shed light on the complex intersections of society, health, and disease. Hana's story is a testament to resilience and the transformative power of opportunity, urging us all to champion a future where every child can fulfill their potential.

Link: Newsweek


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