A teenage girl has made history by becoming the youngest African American accepted into medical school. Please keep reading to discover how this youngster journeyed through the highs and lows of life to make her heartfelt dreams a reality.
Robert Frost once said, "The best way out is always through." Our most absurd and seemingly impossible desires can come true if we strive and keep moving forward with renewed grit and vigor. Failures and hardships are a part of life, but they're aimed at paving our pathway to success.
Nothing worth having comes easy. People hungry for growth willingly embrace setbacks and never give up in the face of adversity. Today's story is about a bright young girl who has shown the world that nothing is impossible if you're determined to turn things around.
NOT AN AVERAGE TODDLER
Alena Analeigh Wicker was only three years old when her mother began noticing that she was different from an average toddler. Daphne McQuarter described her daughter in these words:
"Alena was gifted."
Analeigh said she felt naturally driven to learn new skills. However, when she started school, she noted that people weren't always as welcoming and supportive as her mom.
SHE WAS MOCKED
The little girl recounted that she was sometimes mocked for her intelligence:
"There was a little boy that bullied me, and he would tease me and call me 'smarty pants.'"
When the bullying began, Analeigh's mother home-schooled her for a few years. After that, she returned to school in fifth grade but continued to study advanced high-school courses as part of the curriculum designed by her mom.
A BRIGHT STUDENT
After COVID-19 hit, Analeigh, who adopted her middle name as her surname, said she began taking more courses than usual to ward off her boredom. She enjoyed everything from Algebra and Geometry to Biology.
In May 2022, Analeigh was flabbergasted when she received the news of her acceptance.
Analeigh said she found the high school curriculum so easy that she graduated at 12. She took extra classes and smoothly sailed through Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" and John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men."
A BUDDING ENTREPRENEUR
The teenager expressed that she loved school, learning, and reading and enjoyed STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine. In addition to being a devoted student, Analeigh also dabbled in entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
In mid-2020, she founded The Brown STEM Girl, an organization dedicated to uplifting girls of color interested in making careers in STEM. Analeigh explained that her initiative provides funding, mentorship, and additional sources to exceptional candidates.
The budding teenager expressed that she wished to create a platform for all intelligent girls to give them a sense of belonging. In addition to The Brown STEM Girl, Analeigh has received several awards and accolades.
THE YOUNGEST INTERN
Analeigh is a published writer and a finalist for the Time's Top Kid of the Year award for 2022. She enjoys watching movies, singing, cooking, playing soccer, baking, and spending time with friends.
But despite that, the youngster has managed to stay focused on growing academically and professionally. Owing to her longing for knowledge and learning, she became NASA's youngest intern in the summer of 2021.
During her internship, Analeigh worked under the guidance of Clayton Turner, the director of Langley Research Center, who was said to have been awestruck by her immense talent and loving heart.
SWITCHING TO MEDICINE
As of 2022, Analeigh, 13, is studying at Arizona State University and Oakwood University, where she's enrolled in two separate undergraduate degrees in Biological Sciences and takes most of her courses online.
Initially, Analeigh, who lives in Forth Worth, Texas, said she wanted to pursue engineering, but after taking her first Biology class in college, she switched to medicine.
Analeigh, who has found her interest in viral immunology, revealed that she wishes to use her medical degree to provide medical care to underrepresented communities.
THANK YOU, MOM
Analeigh, who also has an elder sister, said she's fortunate to have a loving and supportive mother who always believed in her and pushed her to accomplish her goals. She added:
"My mom is amazing. She gave me opportunities more than things."
The delighted teenager thanked her mother for everything she had done for her, from cheering her on to wiping her tears and offering her constant support. Analeigh is expected to complete her undergraduate by the spring of 2024.
The teen girl admitted she had massive support from her teachers and mentors to apply to medical school. Among them was Elaine Vanterpool, chair of the Biology department at Oakwood University, Alabama.
Analeigh said that Vanterpool and other advisers were pivotal in encouraging her to apply for early acceptance, although her chances were slim, especially as a young Black girl.
In May 2022, Analeigh was flabbergasted when she received the news of her acceptance at the University of Alabama's Heerskink School of Medicine for 2024 as part of its Early Assurance Program. The youngster is more than ten years younger than the average incoming medical student.
In an Instagram post shared on July 1, Analeigh, who was adopted from Fontana, California, as a little girl, looked back on the historical moment she received her acceptance from medical school. She wrote:
"Statistics would have said I never would have made it.
Despite being mocked and bullied, this young girl has proven that perseverance and hard work combined with a mother's love and support can make the impossible possible. Please share this story so Analeigh receives the recognition she deserves.
Click here to read another story about a couple who adopted an abandoned red-skinned baby predicted to die young and raised her into a successful young woman.
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