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Joy

13-year-old child prodigy accepted into medical school after graduating high school last year

This little girl is my actual hero right now!

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.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

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The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

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Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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