thebrownstemgirl/Instagram Alena Analeigh Wicker
Alena Analeigh Wicker is opening up about the moment she found out she was accepted into medical school at just 13 years old.
The teen from Texas was recently accepted into the University of Alabama's Heersink School of Medicine, only a year after she graduated high school. In an interview with Good Morning America, Alena said receiving her acceptance letter was "amazing."
"After I was accepted, it was the most amazing moment," she told GMA. "Just knowing that I've reached the goal of getting into medical school at this age was amazing for me."
According to the Washington Post, Alena will be attending the university in 2024 after she finishes two undergraduate programs at Arizona State University and Oakwood University.
"My goals right now are to definitely make it through college so I can go into medical school," she told GMA.
Alena's mother, Daphne McQuarter, told the show that her daughter has always been "smart, gifted," and "always ahead."
"There was just something about her that I knew I had to nurture her gift," McQuarter recalled.
Aside from her educational achievements, Alena also founded Brown STEM Girl, an organization for girls of color who are interested in exploring careers in STEM — she was also a finalist for this year's TIME's Top Kid of the Year.
While speaking to GMA, Alena offered some words of advice for other children who want to chase their goals.
"First I would say don't let anybody tell you no, because there was a lot of people who told me no, or that I couldn't do what I dreamed to do," she told the outlet.
"I also had that support system," she continued. "They were there when I needed them and they gave me that support to say, 'Don't give up on your dreams.' "
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Shortly after her acceptance into medical school, Alena shared a message to the Brown Stem Girl Instagram page that thanked her mother for all she has done.
"Mama I made it," Alena wrote. "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."