Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

This 12-year-old college student aims to work at NASA in 4 years

When it comes to her future, Alena Wicker is shooting for the stars.

At just 12 years old, the Arizona resident is already a high school graduate, after excelling in her classes. Her mother, Daphne McQuarter, told 12 News that when Alena was 4, it was clear she had "a gift for numbers and Lego and science, so I nurtured that gift."

Alena wants to put her building skills to the test as an engineer for NASA, and when she starts at Arizona State University this summer, she will major in astronomical and planetary science and chemistry. "I'm just planning it all as I go," Alena said. "It doesn't matter what your age or what you're planning to do. Go for it, dream, then accomplish it."

If she stays on course, Alena will graduate from college at the ripe old age of 16, and hopes that by then, she'll be "driving in one of those future space mobiles." Catherine Garcia