13-Year-Old Girl Gets Accepted to Medical School

THEBROWNSTEMGIRL via Instagram

What were you doing when you were 13 years old? For most of us, we were probably in middle school at age 13 experiencing that awkward age when puberty has begun and we have our first real crush. Many young teens desperately want to fit in and be like everyone else, but sometimes that’s difficult. Thankfully, some teens don’t try to fit in. Instead, they break the mold.

Alena Analeigh Wicker graduated high school at age 12. Her mother, Daphne McQuarter, credits her daughter’s success in school to the fact that in addition to attending traditional school, she was also homeschooled and worldschooled. 

 

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Wicker moved out of the house and into a college dorm. She currently attends Oakwood University and Arizona State University. At age 13, she is a junior in college and just got accepted to medical school at the University of Alabama’s Heersink School of Medicine. She’ll start in 2024. She was accepted through an early assurance program.

Wicker told The Baltimore Times how she first got interested in STEM. She explained, “I was around three or four years old when I became fascinated with the stars and space and LEGOs. My mom began taking me to different astronomy nights and NASA Centers. I remember walking in saying ‘I am going to work here one day, and I will be the youngest girl of color to work here.’”

When Wicker has a goal, she makes it happen. At age 12, she was the youngest NASA intern ever.

Although Wicker’s dream of working for NASA hasn’t changed, the type of career she wants to have there has. She explained, “Initially I wanted to be an engineer for NASA. Going to college helped me discover what I really wanted to do, and that is to become a flight surgeon and work with astronauts.”

 

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Wicker has become known as The Brown STEM Girl, and she shares her journey on Instagram. She credits her mother for helping her achieve her dreams, and she also acknowledges that she has worked really hard to achieve everything she has achieved so far.

Yet, Wicker says that she is “still a normal 13-year-old.” For example, she likes hanging out with her friends, watching movies and baking.

Wicker told The Post that the reason she has accomplished so much is because she has “extremely good time management skills and I’m very disciplined.”

 

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McQuarter shared some advice for parents with The Baltimore Times. She said, “Every child is not meant to go to college, and it is ok.” She added, “Every child is different— if there are multiple children in the home, don’t compare them.” She continued, “Celebrate the small things which to a child are sometimes huge.”

In addition, McQuarter recommends therapy “even if nothing is wrong.” She emphasized the importance of mental health and explained that she feels a therapist gives a child “space to feel like someone is listening and they have a voice and a safe outlet to share their feelings.”