+
Alena Analeigh; Alena Wicker; medical school; genius

13-year-old accepted into medical school.

Does anyone remember the show "Doogie Howser, M.D." or am I just aging myself? I used to watch that show religiously, but even as a kid, I realized that could never happen. Kids can't be doctors! Please don't tell 13-year-old Alena Analeigh Wicker that because she will prove you wrong. Alena has just made history as the youngest Black person in the U.S. to be accepted into medical school.


Most parents want their children to do good things in their life. They hope they will accomplish any dreams and goals they set out to do while cheering them on along the way. Which is what Alena's mother, Daphne McQuarter, does constantly. The pair travel around the world as part of Alena's mission for her organization Brown STEM Girls, which works to help girls of color explore futures in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women are still in the minority in STEM careers, representing just 27% of all STEM workers. When broken down further, only about 5% of women of color have careers in STEM.

How does one get accepted into medical school at just 13? "I was bored," Alena told the The Washington Post. "The high school work was so easy for me that I ended up graduating from high school at 12 years old."

After that, she was accepted into Arizona State University and Oakwood University and is currently a junior at both schools finishing up degrees in biological sciences. After a single engineering course, which she ended up dropping, the future doctor changed direction realizing that engineering was not something she was passionate about. As she told Ebony, it was a trip to Jordan with her organization that made her conclude that viral immunology is where she wanted to be, so she took the next step and applied for medical school.


The teen posted about her acceptance on her Instagram page, sharing a picture of the letter from the University of Alabama's Heersink School of Medicine for 2024. On average, only 7% of applicants get accepted to medical school in America, and just 7% of those accepted are Black. Clearly, she is amazing, this achievement topping her previous accolades of being nominated for Time's Top Kid of the Year and being NASA's youngest intern. Is there anything she can't do?

If you're worried she's missing out on her childhood, have no fear. Though she is scheduled to complete medical school by 18, Alena still makes time for her friends and does age-appropriate activities like going to the arcade and playing soccer. In her Instagram post, she reflected, "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.”

Alena is determined to succeed and it's clear that she has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Here's wishing her all the best in medical school. Who knows, maybe one day we'll see her picture next to the cure for something big.

Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

Some cries for help can be hard to discern.

“I’m fine.”

How easily these two words slip from our mouths, often when nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes, it feels safer to hide our true feelings, lest someone make a judgment or have a negative reaction. Other times, it’s a social rule instilled in childhood, perhaps even through punishment. Or maybe denying is the only way to combat overwhelm—if we ignore it all long enough, things will eventually get better anyway.

At the end of the day … it’s all about avoiding further pain, isn’t it?

But this denial can lead to even more suffering—not only emotionally, but physically as well. Everything from stiff muscles, to migraines, to digestive issues can stem from suppressing emotions.

Keep ReadingShow less

'Macho Man' Randy Savage during a 1992 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show

A surprisingly wholesome video clip of the late iconic professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage is going viral for the surprisingly vulnerable answer he gave when asked if he ever cries.

The 1992 interview with Arsenio Hall began with Hall joking that Save's "middle name is macho," and asking if he ever cried. If you're not familiar with professional wrestling in the 1980's and early 90's it was common for the biggest names of the day: Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Ultimate Warrior, Mr. Perfect, and, of course, Macho Man, to take on personas that often embodied what we might now call "toxic masculinity." Many of them were after all what they call "heels," in wrestling circles, aka the bad guys.

So, it was pretty surprising to see the downright deep and wholesome response Savage gave to Hall without hesitation.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

How breastfeeding actually works is seriously awe-inspiring

Let's take a moment to marvel at this miraculous process.

A viral video shows what's happening beneath the surface when a baby breastfeeds.

Let me start by saying I don't care whether you breastfeed or not. Everyone's circumstances are different, no one needs to explain why they did or didn't breastfeed their babies and we'd all be better off with far fewer judgments across the baby-feeding spectrum.

With that disclaimer out of the way, can we at least all agree that breastfeeding is freaking awesome?

I mean, the whole biological process of growing an entire human practically from scratch is mind-blowing all by itself. But the fact that our bodies then create food to feed that human, with a whole system for how and when that food gets made and released, is just so cool.

Keep ReadingShow less