Move over Doogie Howser! Alena Analeigh Wicker, 13, was recently accepted into the University of Alabama’s Heersink School of Medicine and has become the youngest Black student ever admitted to medical school. The Fort Worth, TX native is currently in her third year of undergraduate studies at both Arizona State University and Alabama’s Oakwood University, so she plans to start her medical studies in the fall of 2024.
“What is age?” Alena Analeigh proudly told the Washington Post last week. [She has been known to use her middle name in place of her surname at times.] “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.” She also shared the news and her acceptance letter to her Instagram page as well. “I was bored,” she also told the outlet. “The high school work was so easy for me that I ended up graduating from high school at 12 years old.”
Though she may be advanced in her schoolwork, Alena insists she’s not much different from other 13-year-old girls. She likes to hang with her friends, play soccer, and go to the movies, reported WP.
But Alena’s unique experiences did inspire her to create an organization named The Brown Stem Girl, whose mission is “to provide an outlet for girls in color in stem.” She also established a scholarship program for other minority girls and spoke about it at last year’s ASU+GSV Summit with Chicago, IL entrepreneur Phyllis Lockett.
“I started it to give STEM opportunities to other girls of color. It’s been going very well,” she told Lockett. “I have events for Brown STEM Girl where I give scholarships, with my partner schools, to girls of color. We provide internships and mentorships to girls all over the world.”
Wicker, who was homeschooled for a number of years, also shared that her mother pulled her out of traditional school at 7 years old. One boy was apparently bullying her and called her names. And to make matters worse, Wicker’s principal reportedly also said she would never get straight A’s because of the color of her skin.
“It hurt, but it also made me determined,” Alena said, as reported by Forbes. “It convinced me that I could — and would — prove them wrong…”
“You don’t see a lot of women in STEM,” she further added. “I thought, “Why don’t I make a group where I can show people that there can be girls like me in STEM?” I thought back to my principal and decided to help girls do what I’d been wanting to do.”