Thirteen-year-old Alena Analeigh Wicker made history as the youngest Black person to get accepted into medical school. Recently, on Good Morning America, the teenager spoke out about getting accepted into medical school and, she has some advice for other kids.
“After I was accepted, it was the most amazing moment,” Alena said in her interview with Good Morning America. “Just knowing that I’ve reached the goal of getting into medical school at this age was amazing for me.”
She continued in her interview, “My goals right now are to definitely make it through college so I can go into medical school. [Alena plans to] study viruses and really help communities.”
Alena finished high school at the age of 12. After graduating from the two undergraduate programs, studying biological sciences at Arizona State University and Oakwood University, the “Brown STEM Girl” founder will attend the Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2024.
At first, the talented scholar had her sights set on becoming an engineer, with the hopes of one day working for NASA, however, as reported by KPNX, Channel 12 news, she shifted her career goals to medicine after a trip abroad to Jordan.
“It actually took one class in engineering, for me to say this is kind of not where I wanted to go,” she explained in her interview with the news outlet. “I think viral immunology really came from my passion for volunteering and going out there engaging with the world.”
So, just what is the STEM Queen’s advice to other kids who also want to dream big? Well, at first, Alena said that she would tell them to ignore those who tell them “no.”
“First I would say don’t let anybody tell you no, because there was a lot of people who told me no, or that I couldn’t do what I dreamed to do,” she said. “I also had that support system. They were there when I needed them and they gave me that support to say, ‘Don’t give up on your dreams.'”