NewsThe Youngest African American To Be Accepted Into Med School

The Youngest African American To Be Accepted Into Med School

Alena Analeigh, at just 14 years old, is making history as a junior enrolled at Arizona State University. According to CBS News, Alena is the youngest African American to be accepted into medical school and has a major interest in cancer research.

The Fort Worth, Texas native graduated high school at just 12 and is now studying Biosciences at ASU. 
She told the outlet, “I really found, like, this is what I want to do. It’s not something that they see every day, but for me, it’s like doing what I love. It’s my passion.”

Her drive for learning and intelligence allowed her to become an intern at the American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research program, located at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Alena has been a driving force in studying natural drug treatments for ovarian cancer. In addition to the research, the internship prides itself on diversifying the cancer research field.
“I was more focused on research,” Alena said. “I loved all the stuff that was happening in the lab, stuff that people develop every day. Like, what could I really do to be in the lab to get more experience? And, then, that’s when I found this program.”

UMD School of Medicine Associate Professor and Alena’s mentor, Tonya Webb, articulated some of the impressive things Alena has accomplished thus far. She said, “She’s used compounds that are found in licorice, green tea, and ginseng and has been able to show that some of them can cause the cancer to shrink in size,  as well as look at the immune system,” 
“At this stage, she’s learning so much,” Webb expressed. “She’s growing and developing, and to show her that she can have an impact in the field of cancer research is just a privilege.”

Alena spoke to the outlet about the foundation she started to inspire other young women of color on her path, called “Brown STEM Girl.”
“I’m trying to accomplish something, and I just want other girls to aspire to do what they love, especially girls of color,” Alena said.

Following the conclusion of her cancer study research, Alana plans to head back to ASU to finish college in the Fall.

Source: Black Enterprise


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