Alena McQuarter is on the brink of achieving even more academic greatness.

As AfroTech previously told you, back in 2021, the Texas native enrolled in Arizona State University with a double major in astronomical and planetary science and chemistry at the age of 12. Her goal was to become an engineer for NASA. 

Now, as McQuarter is closer to the finish line, she’s shifted gears. 

USA Today reports that the 14-year-old is set to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical biological sciences with a minor in global health. By May 2024, she is looking to earn her master’s in biological sciences.

Previously, McQuarter made history as the youngest Black person to be accepted into medical school as well as the youngest person to intern at NASA.

While she’s been able to achieve so much early on, her journey didn’t come without naysayers. The outlet shares that her principal, who was a person of color, “told her young girls of color can’t get good grades or pass state tests” while McQuarter was in fifth grade.

“It did kind of hurt because I worked hard to get the grades that I got,” McQuarter told the outlet. “Someone comes and tells you, ‘You can’t do this because you’re too young or you’re a girl of color.’ I really wanted to show her that I can get good grades and I can go on and do amazing things. So I’m proving that.”

Despite hearing such discouraging words, McQuarter has pushed forward with her academics. She plans to apply to another medical school in the fall to pursue a doctorate and study viral immunology with a focus on infectious diseases.

“In the future, I want to look into health care and underrepresented communities,” she said, according to the outlet. “I just want to learn more and be able to develop different things to help … increase health care in underrepresented communities and advocate for people.”

It’s safe to say she’s off to an amazing start.

USA Today reports McQuarter also has an organization called STEMGirl, which is geared toward “girls of color who want to study science, technology, engineering and math.”