*A gifted 12-year-old girl with dreams of becoming a NASA engineer is about to take a giant leap forward toward her goal.
Alena Wicker, who lives in Texas, will be virtually attending Arizona State University this year after she graduates high school, reported ABC News. Again she is 12. This not-so-hidden figure intends to double major in astronomical and planetary science and chemistry.
Wicker told “Good Morning America” that she’s wanted to be a NASA engineer ever since she was “little,” but originally wanted to be an astronomer. She changed her mind and switched to engineering because of her love of building things, she said.
“I would love to build a rover to go to space,” Alena said.
Alena’s mom, Daphne McQuarter, said her daughter has always had a singular focus.
“She would always say ‘Mommy, I’m going to work for NASA,’” McQuarter recounted to “GMA.” “Then she would start saying, ‘I’m going to be the youngest Black girl to ever work for NASA — watch.’”
One of Alena’s next projects is a children’s book titled “Brainiac World.” The name comes from what kids teased her with when she was younger, and she said it’s her way of taking the word back and making it into something positive, reported ABC.
She’s also working on a podcast, which will release its first episode in a couple weeks. “My podcast is to encourage girls in STEM by bringing other women and girls of STEM to ask and answer questions,” Alena said.
Watch Alena’s GMA appearance below: