12-year-old genius to attend college this summer, plans to work at NASA by 16

Alena Wicker has a goal in mind, and she’s not going to let her age get in her way. The 12-year-old from Arizona has her mind set on working for NASA and the next step towards achieving that goal is college.

Yes, college at the tender age of 12.


“At four years old she said I’m going to work at NASA,” her mother Daphne McQuarter said.

And no one has tried to stop her.

“She just had a gift for numbers and Lego and science so I started nurturing that gift.”


This past year, Alena graduated high school, which she attended via homeschool. And in the coming weeks she plans to attend Arizona State University where she’ll major in astronomical and planetary science and chemistry.

Her mother said her goal is to finish college by 16 and be working for NASA by then, but Alena said she’s planning her future as she goes.

“I’m just planning it all as I go. It doesn’t matter what your age or what you’re planning to do. Go for it, dream, then accomplish it,” Alena said.

Way to go, Alena! Keep up the hard work. No doubt you will be an inspiration to so many.

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