Girl Starting College at Age 12 Plans to Become NASA Engineer

Middle school can be enough of a challenge for preteens—but 12-year-old Alena Analeigh has already earned her high school diploma.

"I'll be driving one of those future space mobiles by the time I graduate college," she said.

Analeigh will be attending the University of Arizona remotely this spring. With a double major in both chemistry and astronomical and planetary sciences, Analeigh plans to become a NASA engineer by the age of 16.

Even when Analeigh was a little girl, she wanted to work for NASA.

"She would always say, 'Mommy, I'm going to work for NASA,'" said her mother Daphne McQuarter. "Then she would start saying, 'I'm going to be the youngest Black girl to ever work for NASA—watch!"

The young girl's obsession with space was borne from an early passion for Lego building blocks, from which Analeigh has constructed everything from the Taj Mahal to the Apollo 11.

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