GREENWOOD Dist. – At the age of 15, while most of his peers were navigating high school, Ian Taylor Schlitz was already on a path to academic excellence. With unwavering determination, he finished his undergraduate degree in Integrative Studies from the University of North Texas and even navigated the graduate school application process during a global pandemic. Despite the challenges that came his way, Ian remained committed to his love for learning and his passion for business. 

In the Fall of 2021, he was accepted into the MBA program at Tarleton State University and embarked on a journey that would soon make him one of the youngest people in the world, and the youngest African American, to ever earn an MBA degree at the age of 17.

Ian’s remarkable journey began at the age of 11 when he enrolled at Tarrant County Community College in 2016. From there, he transferred to the University of North Texas in 2020 and graduated with honors just a year later. It was his passion for video games that led him to the Tarleton State University MBA program, where he saw an opportunity to make a difference.

As an avid Esports participant, Ian noticed the lack of kids his age participating in local and regional Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments, a crossover fighting game series published by Nintendo. Driven by his observation and passion, he launched Kidlamity Gaming with the mission of bringing gaming back to kids. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Ian adapted and pivoted his business focus to the creation of BeinBian Studios, a boutique animation studio that specializes in custom block animation productions. Ian’s dedication, perseverance, and passion for learning have led him to great success. 

His recent graduation from Tarleton State University is a testament to his remarkable journey and serves as an inspiration to young people everywhere. 

Ian Schlitz Graduates with MBA at 17
Ian Taylor Schlitz

“I am thankful for the opportunities that the Tarleton State University MBA program has provided me. The program and faculty provided me with a great foundation of business fundamentals and helped me develop my critical thinking, leadership and communications skills. I appreciate that they embraced me holistically and did not let my young age be a deterrent from being able to continue my education,” said Taylor Schlitz.

Ian has been accepted into the prestigious Learning Technologies Ph.D. program at the University of North Texas and will begin his studies there in the Fall of 2023. Ian plans to explore how gamification can be utilized to engage students in learning different subjects. He also wants to ensure that the use of technology in education is deliberately designed to ensure that the diverse communities across Texas and our nation are engaged and embraced. 

The young genius also added, “I am excited to be returning to the Mean Green and being able to pursue my passions in the areas of technology. One thing the global pandemic has taught us is that we must continue to explore how technology can be further utilized to help all students and individuals learn. The Ph.D. in Learning Technologies at UNT is a world-renowned program with amazing faculty, and I am grateful to have this opportunity.” 

If the name Taylor Schlitz sounds familiar, it’s because Ian comes from an academically talented family. Because his sister Haley Taylor Schlitz became the youngest woman to graduate from Law School.

Nehemiah D. Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Wall Street Times and a descendant of two families that survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Although his publication’s store and newsroom...

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