Alena Analeigh Wicker was accepted into the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Heersink School of Medicine in May, becoming the youngest known black woman to achieve such a feat.
“What is age?” Wicker asked, according to the Washington Post. “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.”
She was accepted into the university’s Burroughs Wellcome Scholars Early Assurance Program, which permits students to attend medical school at a young age if they fulfill the requirements.
The average acceptance rate for medical school hovers around 7%, and about 60% of the 50,000 students who apply annually are rejected, according to Med School Insiders.
But Wicker is no ordinary student. Last year, she graduated high school at the age of 12 and has been working on finishing two undergraduate degrees in biological sciences at Arizona State University and Oakwood University, mostly via online course work.
“I just have extremely good time management skills and I’m very disciplined,” she said.
From a young age, her mother observed her intellectual prowess, noting that as young as 3, Wicker was well ahead of the average person her age.
“Alena was gifted,” her mother told the outlet. “It was just how she did things and how advanced she was. She was reading chapter books.”
The new medical student is aiming to become a doctor by the age of 18. She has amassed several awards during her academic career so far, including being a finalist for Time’s Top Kid of the Year 2022.
Still, she contends that she is “a normal 13-year-old” and is hoping to help others, she said.