Meet Alena Analeigh Wicker, 13 years old who is the Youngest Black Medical Student in American History

A remarkable 13-year-old prodigy named Alena Analeigh, hailing from the vicinity of Fort Worth, has gained acceptance into the Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama. Alena’s admission was made possible through the Early Assurance Program at the school, which offers early admission to individuals who meet certain criteria, allowing her to secure a spot ahead of other applicants.

Alena’s exceptional journey began at a very young age when she started reading chapter books and attending high school classes at the tender age of three. By the time she turned twelve, she had already enrolled in two educational institutions simultaneously, pursuing two separate degrees.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Alena was asked, “What is age?”  She replied, “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.”

At the urging of her family, teachers, and advisors, she was motivated to seek early admission to the Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama. Despite being more than a decade younger than the typical incoming medical student, she successfully secured her place in the program in May.

Alena faced significant odds in her pursuit of admission to a U.S. medical school due to the highly competitive nature of the process. A mere 7% of applicants were granted admission, and within that group, only 7% represented individuals of Black ethnicity.

Alena Wicker, 13, has been admitted to medical school as the youngest black girl.

“Statistics would have said I never would have made it,” Alena said in an Instagram post announcing the achievement. “A little black girl adopted from Fontana, California”. She further wrote, “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!”.

Also read: Who exactly is Victor Glover? Learn about the first Black American to fly to the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis II mission

In addition to studying, she likes to watch films, play football, bake, and hang out with friends. She claimed, “I just have extremely good time management skills and I’m very disciplined”.

After enduring teasing for her academic prowess, Alena’s mother made the decision to homeschool her for a period of time during her elementary school years. It wasn’t until the fifth grade that she returned to traditional classrooms. Despite this, Alena continued to challenge herself by enrolling in advanced high school-level courses, following a custom curriculum tailored by her mother specifically for her needs. Her dedication to learning only intensified during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Alena’s early fascination with STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) was evident. In the summer of 2021, she achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the youngest intern at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). During her time at NASA, she engaged in various projects, including remote research for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory based in La Cañada Flintridge, California. Clayton Turner, the director of NASA’s Langley Research Center, took notice of her talents after reading a news article about her and became her mentor.

Currently, Alena is pursuing two undergraduate degrees in biology—one at Arizona State University and the other at Oakwood University in Alabama—further solidifying her commitment to her academic journey.

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