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13-YEAR-OLD GIRL STUDENT IS HEADED TO UAB MEDICAL SCHOOL: ‘DON’T LET ANYBODY TELL YOU “NO”’



Alena Annaleigh Wicker, a 13-year-old college junior (AP)


Alena Annaleigh Wicker, a 13-year-old college junior, didn’t let naysayers get in the way of her dreams, which culminated in her being accepted to UAB’s Heersink School of Medicine in May.


Alena advised her peers to have the same mindset during an appearance Thursday on “Good Morning America.”


“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 show. “I also had that support system. They were there when I needed them and they gave me that support to say, ‘Don’t give up on your dreams.’”


Alena called her acceptance to UAB medical school under the school’s Burroughs Wellcome Scholars Early Assurance Program “amazing.”


“After I was accepted, it was the most amazing moment,” she said. “Just knowing that I’ve reached the goal of getting into medical school at this age was amazing for me.”


Alena, who claims to be the youngest Black girl accepted to medical school, hopes to begin her studies at UAB in 2024.


The 13-year-old graduated high school last year and is a college junior at Arizona State University and Oakwood University in Huntsville.


“My goals right now are to definitely make it through college so I can go into medical school,” she said.


Alena said she wants to be a viral immunologist to “study viruses and really help communities.”


She also runs The Brown STEM Girl, a scholarship program aimed at inspiring young Black girls to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers.

“I’m so blessed and grateful for the blessings God keeps sending my way. This journey wasn’t easy but it’s definitely been worth it!,” Alena wrote on Instagram. “I’m creating a platform for every little girl of color that has a passion for STEM AND EVERY GIRL that was ever told she couldn’t. I’m proof you can!”

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