Alena Wicker

12-Year-Old College-Bound Prodigy Eyes NASA Job


12-year-old prodigy Alena Wicker is already college-bound, preparing to begin her freshman year at Arizona State University.

The home-schooled pre-teen is attending ASU in the summer to major in astronomical and planetary sciences and chemistry before becoming a NASA scientist after graduation. She says she wants to build rovers for exploration missions like Perseverance.

Perseverance is a NASA Mars rover that landed on last month to search for past life on Mars and to collect soil and rock samples for its future return to Earth.

“I always liked dreamed of being an engineer because throughout my life I liked building,” Alena said, sharing that her love for building started as an infant with Legos.

“At four years old she said I’m going to work at NASA and I’m going to go up there, she would point to the stars,” her mother, Daphne Mcquarter, told ABC. “She just had a gift for numbers and LEGOs and science, so I started nurturing that gift.”

Alena adds that age should not be a barrier when it comes to achieving your dreams: “It doesn’t matter what your age or what you’re planning to do. Go for it, dream, then accomplish it.”

Alena has already set up a Facebook page, where she will soon be launching her very own podcast.

“If you want to be iconic. Create you an iconic brand and get you an iconic coach. I want to leave a legacy. I want to create wealth that will carry beyond my present,” she writes on her page.

“I want people to remember my name and see me in the history books,” she continues.

“I am not tomorrow. I’m today. I’m the future of #NASA
I’m what Brown Stem Girls look like
I’m what Brown Architects look like
I’m what Brown Girl Engineers look like
I am she.”

Alena Wicker has a bright future ahead of her.

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