At just 13 years old, Alena Analeigh Wicker just became the youngest black student to ever be accepted to medical school.
Wicker — who is currently a junior and studying at two different universities, Arizona State University and Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama — has been accepted into the University of Alabama’s Heersink School of Medicine for 2024. After getting her admission letter, Wicker took to social media to express her excitement.
“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,” she wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Wicker credited her mother for helping her achieve such an amazing achievement.
“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,” the teen said. “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.”
In an interview with The Washington Post, Wicker’s mother, Daphne McQuarter, said she noticed her daughter was very smart early on.
“Alena was gifted,”she said. “It was just how she did things and how advanced she was. She was reading chapter books.”
After being bullied in school, Wicker was homeschooled for several years before returning in the fifth grade. By that time, she was already taking advanced high school classes at home. During the early days of the pandemic, Wicker decided to increase her workload to pass the time.
“I was bored,” she told The Washington Post. “The high school work was so easy for me that I ended up graduating from high school at 12 years old.”
Wicker filled her days with extra classes, easily devouring each lesson. “I love school, I love learning, I love reading,” she explained.
In addition to breezing through school, Wicker also created Brown STEM Girl to encourage more Black girls to get into science and technology careers.
“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,” she said.
While she spends a lot of time focusing on advancing in her education, Wicker says she’s also just like any other teen.
“I’m still a normal 13-year-old,” she said. “I just have extremely good time management skills and I’m very disciplined.”
She also addressed those who say she’s too young to be advancing so quickly in her education and career.
“What is age?” she said. “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.”