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Texas Girl Alena Mcquarter Set To Graduate College At Only 14 Years Old



Texas Girl Alena Mcquarter Set To Graduate College At Only 14 Year Old

Texas Girl Alena Mcquarter Set To Graduate College At Only 14 Year Old

Alena McQuarter isn’t like other teenagers. She graduated high school at 12 years old, made national headlines as the youngest person to intern at NASA, and is the youngest Black person to get accepted to medical school.

Now, she’s just a few months away from graduating college at the age of 14. And somehow, the native Texan and teenage prodigy had time to start The Brown STEM GIRL, an organization for girls of color who want to study science, technology, engineering and math.

“I’ve always tried to prove that girls of color … they can do what they put their minds to,” she told USA TODAY this week. “Being able to graduate at the age of 12 from high school and going into college, I just want to inspire other girls to follow their dreams.”

Alena is a senior at Arizona State University and will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical biological sciences with a minor in global health. In May 2024, she is expected to graduate with a master’s in biological sciences.

“From the age of 5, 4, around there, I’ve just been in love with science,” she told USA TODAY. “And I love the stars.” Growing up, Alena’s mother took her to NASA every summer, as well as astronomy events at night. In 2021, Alena got to intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“It was an amazing opportunity,” she said. “Being able to go to JPL and really see what they’re working on when it comes to rovers and rockets and things that they’re sending up to space and Mars, it was nice.” Alena initially wanted to be an engineer but after taking an engineering class, she realized it wasn’t for her. She kept looking and soon realized she’d rather pursue biological sciences.

She has been admitted to the University of Alabama’s Heersink School of Medicine to pursue a medical degree but she’s more interested in research, she said. She plans to apply elsewhere to pursue a doctorate and study viral immunology with a focus on infectious diseases. She’ll start applying this fall, she said.

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