EBONY cover star and HBCU Stem Queen Alena Analeigh Wicker, at 13 years old, made history by becoming the youngest Black person ever to be accepted to a medical school.
Wicker received an early acceptance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine.
After graduating high school at the age of 12, Wicker had already completed more than half of her undergraduate requirements at Arizona State University (ASU) and Oakwood University in just one year.
The University of Alabama informed her that she had been selected for the school’s Burroughs Wellcome Scholars Early Assurance Program, which partners with several Black schools in Alabama to offer students early acceptance as they plan to enter medical school.
I really want to leave my mark on the world. And lead a group of girls that know what they can do,” Wicker said in an interview.
Although she initially wanted to pursue engineering, she fell in love with biology after a trip to Jordan with The Brown STEM Girl foundation.
“It actually took one class in engineering, for me to say this is kind of not where I wanted to go,” she said. “I think viral immunology really came from my passion for volunteering and going out there engaging with the world.".
“What I want from healthcare is to really show these underrepresented communities that we can help, that we can find cures for these viruses,” she added.
Last week, she took to Instagram after receiving her acceptance later and thanked her mother for supporting her on her journey.
“Statistics would have said I never would have made it,” she wrote. “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,” her post continued. “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.”
If everything falls into place, Alena will be 18 when she becomes a doctor.
“I want to inspire the girls,” she said. “I want them to see that there are no limits."