(NewsNation) — She’s only 13, and Alena Analeigh Wicker is already making history.
Wicker recently became the youngest Black person ever to be accepted into medical school. The teenager posted her acceptance letter from the University of Alabama at Birmingham to her more than 18,000 followers on Instagram on June 30.
Wicker joined “NewsNation Prime” on Sunday and said the last few weeks “have been fun, engaging, amazing experiences.” She said seeing the acceptance letter was an inspiring and amazing moment for her.
“It’s been a long journey, but it’s all gonna pay off in the end,” Wicker said.
The teen graduated high school when she was 12 and has now been selected for UAB’s Burroughs Wellcome Scholars Early Assurance Program, which provides early acceptance to students who meet certain requirements. Now in college, Wicker has already completed more than half of her undergrad requirements at Arizona State University and Oakwood University, Ebony magazine reported.
Although she initially wanted to study engineering — she once had a goal of working for NASA — Wicker discovered the medical field and instantly fell in love.
“I was excited and it was everything that I had hoped for,” Wicker said. “All of my teachers were amazing and they gave me great experiences.”
Those teachers, and her mother, were the source of Wicker’s inspiration to further her studies.
“(My mother) inspired me to reach my goals and do whatever came to my mind. She never told me no,” Wicker said. “She was telling me throughout my journey, it doesn’t matter how young you are or what you want to be, you can reach it and go after your goals.”
*This story has been updated to correct the number of Wicker’s Instagram followers.