Alena Analeigh Wicker is only 13 years old. Yet she has done more in her 13 years than most people do in their entire lives.
Seriously. Wicker is an exceptional young person, not just because she’s a prodigy, but because she’s a wonderful visionary and humanitarian.
Hence, why she is the subject of this week’s Feel-Good Friday.
Alena graduated high school in 2021 at the age of 12, and is taking online college courses at Arizona State University and Oakwood University, where she is studying biological sciences. In just one year, Wicker has already achieved enough credits to be in her junior year of college.
Wicker’s desire is to be is a doctor, and the University of Alabama decided to be first out the gate to help her see that happen.
From The Washington Post:
In May, Alena was offered a spot at the University of Alabama’s Heersink School of Medicine for 2024, as part of its Early Assurance Program — which offers early admission to applicants who meet specific requirements. Alena is more than 10 years younger than the average incoming medical student.
Wicker will be 15 when she begins medical school in 2024, and the four years (maybe less for her) to complete medical school will take her to 19. What makes Wicker exceptional is that age is just a number, and not an indicator of one’s ability to achieve.
“What is age?” said Alena, who lives just outside Fort Worth and is completing most of her courses online. “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.”
How about we get rid of CRT and replace it with an Alena Analeigh Wicker Master Classes on how to achieve academic success? Wicker’s vision, drive, and determination is not only a powerful example to her generation, but it is a perfect picture of what one can achieve when no one is telling you you can’t.
“I’m still a normal 13-year-old,” said Alena, a student at both Arizona State University and Oakwood University, where she is simultaneously earning two separate undergraduate degrees in biological sciences. “I just have extremely good time management skills and I’m very disciplined.”
No kidding. Something sorely lacking in today’s education. Instead of dumbing down the curriculum for students, how about we give them something to strive for? A sense of purpose? These values appear to be what have allowed Wicker to soar. Intellect, a sense of accomplishment, and the knowledge that she could change the world.
And Wicker is doing just that.
On top of her devotion to schoolwork, Alena is also a budding entrepreneur and philanthropist. About a year and a half ago, she started the Brown STEM Girl — an organization aimed at providing opportunities for girls of color interested in exploring careers in STEM.
According to the National Science Board, women make up 28 percent of the science and engineering workforce, and of them, only about 5 percent are women of color. Alena is on a mission to change that.
“We’re showing the world that there’s other girls out there that are just like me, and they deserve an opportunity and a chance,” said Alena, explaining that her organization has a rigorous application process and offers financial scholarships, mentorship programs and additional resources to standout students. There are more than 460 active members and about 2,000 girls on a waiting list, Alena said, adding that the organization is funded through private donations.
She wanted to create a platform for girls like her “to feel like they belong somewhere,” she said. “I represent all the brainiac girls in the world.”
Wicker’s Instagram handle is “The Brown STEM Girl,” and she wrote the most wonderful Instagram post to announce her letter of acceptance by the University of Alabama:
Today I’m just grateful. I graduated High school LAST YEAR at 12 years old and here I am one year later I’ve been accepted into Med School at 13. I’m a junior in college. Statistics would have said I never would have made it. 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.
I pray God blesses me so big you never ever have to want for anything in this earthly life. You sacrificed so much for me (people have no idea what we have been through) and here I am while it seems so far away the end of this college chapter is going by so fast. MOMMY I MADE IT!!!!!💕💕💕
In a world full of AOCs, be an Alena Analeigh Wicker.
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