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A 13-year-old prodigy who made history by becoming the youngest Black person in the US to get accepted into medical school has hopes to become a doctor by the time she's 18.
As most students her age continue to move through secondary school, Alena Analeigh has already managed to complete the equivalent of two and a half years of university in just 12 months.
She is undergoing her studies at Arizona State University (ASU) and Oakwood University after getting accepted into ASU's engineering programme when she just 12 years old, however she soon turned her attention to biology.
The change in direction was inspired by a trip to Jordan and The Brown STEM Girl foundation, with Alena telling 12 News it took just one class in engineering for her to realise it was not where she wanted to go.
“I think viral immunology really came from my passion for volunteering and going out there engaging with the world," Alena explained.
Alena has now been accepted into the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine, and if everything goes to plan she will be 18 years old when she become a doctor.
Discussing her hopes for the future, Alena said: “What I want from healthcare, is to really show these underrepresented communities that we can help that we can find cures for these viruses.
"I want to inspire the girls. I want them to see that there are no limits."
Alena took to social media after receiving her acceptance letter into medical school last week, noting that she had defeated the odds and expressing thanks to her mum.
She wrote: “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. Mama I made it. I couldn’t have done it without you. You gave me every opportunity possible to be successful.
"You cheered me on, wiped my tears, gave me oreos when I needed comfort, you never allowed me to settle, disciplined me when I needed.
"You are the best mother a kid could ever ask for. MAMA I MADE IT! You always believed in me.You allowed me space to grow and become, make mistakes without making me feel bad. You allowed me the opportunity to experience the world.”
Alena added that her mum has 'sacrificed so much' for her, saying: "People have no idea what we have been through."
The 13-year-old has been widely congratulated for her success, with Instagram users describing her as 'incredible'.
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