Every generation produces child prodigies. From Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the 1700s, to John Von Neumann (the mental calculator) in the 1900s, we now have Alena Wicker (a Lego genius).
At the tender age of 12, Alena has raised the bar for African-American children by getting into Arizona State University one year shy from being a teenager.
While most kids are advancing to middle school, this child prodigy has graduated from high school and been accepted to Arizona State University.
In an interview with W12 News, Alena expressed her vision of working with NASA and advised others to go for their dreams, no matter their age.
According to Daphne McQuarter, Alena’s mom, Wicker, expressed her desire to work with NASA at age four and then worked to actualize her dreams. Daphne has also been instrumental in nurturing her daughter’s gift for Legos, science and numbers.
She realized Alena had a gift for mathematic equations earlier on. Daphne ensured that her daughter had access to the materials needed to become a phenomenon through a hands-on approach.
The Road to NASA
Alena will pursue a dual degree at the acclaimed State University. She looks forward to graduating with honors in astronomy, planetary science and chemistry.
The 12-year old has an undying passion for engineering and NASA-sized Legos and hopes to become a successful engineer for NASA soon. She intends to build space rovers and drive them into space as NASA did in the Perseverance Mission.
According to NASA Space Place, NASA has already sent five robotic vehicles to Mars.
Alena’s Journey From Arizona State to NASA
Apart from her hopes of joining NASA, Alena is also a social media influencer. She has been working to boost her online presence through her Facebook page, BrownStemGirl.
The page shares her journey from Legos to college life. Alena also recently shared an update to welcome her followers to the illustrious world of STEM – an approach to learning that integrates four disciplines – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics which are integral in the US’s sustained growth and economic stability.
The program will help create critical thinkers and creatives, enhance science literacy and allow for the next generation of innovators.
Next, she plans to launch a podcast documenting her journey and a website that will inspire more black girls to dream big.
Alena’s mantra is to go for it and to accomplish what you can. The self-proclaimed nerd for NASA-sized Legos is just a step away from accomplishing her dreams.
Only last year, another 12-year old prodigy, Caleb Anderson, dominated the headlines when he got an acceptance letter from one of the best engineering schools in the nation, Georgia Tech.
Caleb will pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. Like Alena, the math whiz gave Archimedes a run for his title by mastering fractions and the Constitution at age 2.
Like Alena and Caleb, anyone can surpass their expectations. You just need a firm conviction and to go the extra mile by working hard.
As Lupita Nyong’o eloquently put it, everyone’s dreams are valid. You are the author and the curator of your life; you just need to put in the effort and achieve greatness!