This pre-teen heads to college at 12, and aspires to work for NASA

Ama Nunoo March 17, 2021
Alena Wicker is well on her way to be a NASA engineer. Photo: 12 News

Some children are born knowing what their purpose is and the onus lies on parents to pick up some of these signs and nurture the dreams of these little ones. Alexa Wicker loved to play with LEGOs as a child and at 4, she told her mother emphatically that she will work at NASA.

Daphne McQuarter did not dismiss her daughter’s interests and has thrown her weight behind her daughter, giving her the needed support to achieving her goals.

“At four years old, she said I’m going to work at NASA. She just had a gift for numbers and Lego and science, so I started nurturing that gift,” McQuarter told reporters.

At age 12, Wicker is headed to college at the Arizona State University. The last year has been tough but that did not prevent the home-schooled pre-teen from acing all her high school exams and earning a spot in college well ahead of her peers.

It has always been her dream to be an engineer and she is putting in the needed work to bring that dream to fruition.

“I always dreamed of being an engineer because throughout my life I liked the building,” she told Arizona’s 11Alive News. “I’m kind of a nerd for the NASA-sized Legos.”

With her high school diploma in hand, Wicker will start college classes this summer pursuing a double major in astronomical and planetary science and chemistry.

Wicker seems to have her life’s path sorted out more than many adults but according to her, she takes on things as they come. Her goal is to finish college at age 16, then head right into NASA as an engineer.

“I just had a goal I wanted to get to…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,” Wicker said.

Not only does Wicker intend on building her space crafts as the ones sent on the recent perseverance mission, but she also plans on going to space herself and driving these rovers there. “I’ll be driving in one of those future space mobiles by the time that I graduate college,” she said.

All that is left for the 12-year-old prodigy is the perfection of her craft which she intends on doing with the help of her tutors at college.

Her humble self does not see all that she has accomplished as extraordinary because to her, they are things she has always wanted to do. Those who might be looking for inspiration from Wicker should be on the lookout for her upcoming podcast, according to 12 News.

Looking at the path her life is taking, Wicker is well on her way to land her dream job; a NASA engineer.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 17, 2021


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