Meet Alena Analeigh who has made history at the age of 13 as the youngest African American to ever be accepted into medical school. Just one year after graduating from high school, she now is set to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine.
In just one year, Alena finished two and a half years of college by taking a full course load at Arizona State University and Oakwood University.
“I really want to leave my mark on the world. And lead a group of girls that know what they can do,” Alena told 12News.
But actually, entering medical school wasn’t a part of Alena’s plan a year ago. Alena’s dream back then was to work for NASA someday and she got accepted to ASU’s engineering program when she was 12-years old.
“It actually took one class in engineering, for me to say this is kind of not where I wanted to go,” she said. “I think viral immunology really came from my passion for volunteering and going out there engaging with the world.”
“What I want from healthcare, is to really show these underrepresented communities that we can help that we can find cures for these viruses,” she added.
Alena was also inspired by a trip to Jordan and the Brown STEM Girl Foundation, a program she founded at the age of 12, that provides outstanding minority students with resources such as scholarship and mentorship to help them pursue their career.
“I want to inspire the girls. I want them to see that there are no limits,” she said.
Moreover, Alena took to Instagram to celebrate her achievement and express her gratitude to her mother.
“Statistics would have said I never would have made it. A little black girl adopted from Fontana California. I’ve worked so hard to reach my goals and live my dreams. Mama I made it. I couldn’t have done it without you,” she wrote in part.