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Black Girl Magic: 13-Yr-Old Alena Analeigh Wicker Becomes The Youngest Black Medical Student In US History

Alena Analeigh Wicker, a 13-year-old prodigy from outside Fort Worth, has been accepted into the Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama. Wicker received early admission through the school's Early Assurance Program, which provides early admission to applicants who meet certain criteria.

At the age of three, the young girl was reading chapter books and taking high school courses, and at the age of twelve, she enrolled in two colleges to earn two degrees.

"What is age?" Alena asked during an interview with the Washington Post. "You're not too young to do anything. I feel like I have proven to myself that I can do anything that I put my heart and mind to. I'm still a normal 13-year-old."

Her family, educators, and advisers encouraged her to apply for early acceptance to the Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama.

Despite being more than ten years younger than the average incoming medical student, she was accepted into the program in May.

Although she was young, Alena's chances of being accepted into a US medical school were already extremely slim since only 7% of applicants were accepted, and only 7% of those were black students.

"Statistics would have said I never would have made it," Alena wrote in an Instagram post sharing the news. "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!" she continued.

Besides studying, she enjoys going to the movies, playing soccer, baking, and spending time with friends.

"I just have extremely good time management skills and I'm very disciplined," she explained.

Alena's mother decided to homeschool her for several years after she was bullied for being a "smarty pants" in elementary school. In the fifth grade, she returned to school. She continued her advanced high school-level courses in a curriculum created by her mother. During the Coronavirus outbreak, she even increased her workload.

Since a young age, the dedicated student has shown an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). In the summer of 2021, she was selected as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) youngest intern.

During her time at NASA, Alena was involved in numerous assignments, including remote research for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Caada Flintridge, California.

Having read a news story about Alena, Clayton Turner, the director of the agency's Langley Research Center, recruited her, who is also her mentor.

She is currently a junior at both Arizona State University and Oakwood University in Alabama, where she is pursuing two undergraduate degrees in biology.

That's some real black girl magic!

Story first published: Thursday, July 28, 2022, 11:58 [IST]
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