At thirteen years old, Alena Analeigh Wicker is the youngest African American student in the nation to be admitted into a medical school, making her a true inspiration to the rest of us.
Alena wants to become a doctor after attracting the attention of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine. Alena plans to complete her undergraduate studies at Arizona State University and Oakwood University in only one year, putting her on track to graduate at the age of 18.
“I really want to leave my mark on the world. And lead a group of girls that know what they can do,” Alena said.
After being accepted into ASU’s engineering school last year, she talked to 12 News about her hopes of working for NASA. She quickly discovered, however, that she was more interested in a different branch of science altogether. “It actually took one class in engineering, for me to say this is kind of not where I wanted to go,” she said. “I think viral immunology really came from my passion for volunteering and going out there engaging with the world.”
The journey to Jordan and the establishment of the Brown STEM Girl foundation, which the child prodigy started when she was only 12 years old and which gives outstanding minority students access to resources in the form of scholarships and mentorship as they make the transition from life in college to life in the working world, were both sources of motivation for the child prodigy. “What I want from healthcare is to really show these underrepresented communities that we can help, that we can find cures for these viruses,” Alena said. “I want to inspire the girls. I want them to see that there are no limits,” she proclaimed.
When she received her admission letter last week, she rushed to Instagram to share her delight and thanks for her parents. “Statistics would have said I never would have made it,” she wrote. “A little black girl adopted from Fontana California. I’ve worked so hard to reach my goals and live my dreams. Mama I made it. I couldn’t have done it without you. You gave me every opportunity possible to be successful. You cheered me on, wiped my tears, gave me oreos when I needed comfort, you never allowed me to settle, disciplined me when I needed . You are the best mother a kid could ever ask for. MAMA I MADE IT! You always believed in me. You allowed me space to grow and become, make mistakes without making me feel bad. You allowed me the opportunity to experience the world.”