Capturing the attention of University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine, Alena hopes to become a doctor. After already more than halfway done with her undergrad at Arizona State University and Oakwood University in just one year, Alena expects to reach her goal at 18.
“I really want to leave my mark on the world. And lead a group of girls that know what they can do,” Alena said.
Last year, she spoke with 12 News fresh on her acceptance to ASU’s engineering program and shared her dreams of working with NASA. However, she soon realized she was interested in a different type of science.
“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.”
The child genius felt inspired by a trip to Jordan and the Brown STEM Girl foundation, a program she founded at 12, that provides resources to exceptional minority students by form of scholarships and mentoring as they transition from college to career life.
“What I want from healthcare is to really show these underrepresented communities that we can help, that we can find cures for these viruses,” Alena said.
“I want to inspire the girls. I want them to see that there are no limits,” she proclaimed.
Upon receiving her acceptance letter last week, she took to Instagram to express her joy and gratitude for her mom.
“Statistics would have said I never would have made it,” she wrote. “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. 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. MAMA I MADE IT! You always believed in me. You allowed me space to grow and become, make mistakes without making me feel bad. You allowed me the opportunity to experience the world.”
News Source: BlackEnterprise / Written Credits by: Wendy Medina