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Age is Just a Number: Alena Analeigh Wicker, 13, Gets Into Medical School and Dr. Anthony Fauci, 81, Fills Us in On His Retirement Plans

Age is Just a Number: Alena Analeigh Wicker, 13, Gets Into Medical School and Dr. Anthony Fauci, 81, Fills Us in On His Retirement Plans

By The Sunday Paper Team
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This week, two incredible people proved it’s never too early—or late—to dream big about your next chapter in life.

Alena Analeigh Wicker, age 13, is currently a student at both Arizona State University and Oakwood University, where she is simultaneously earning two separate undergraduate degrees in biological sciences. Recently, she was offered a spot at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Heersink School of Medicine for 2024, even though she’s more than 10 years younger than the average incoming medical student. “What is age?” Alena told The Washington Post. “You’re not too young to do anything. I feel like I have proven to myself that I can do anything that I put my heart and mind to.”

And Dr. Anthony Fauci, age 81, the chief medical adviser to the president and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made headlines this week about his plans for retirement. Dr. Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert who became a household name during the pandemic, told Politico that he doesn't see himself in the job past the end of Biden's first term in January 2025. "I plan to step down from my current position sometime between now and then and to go on and pursue other directions in my professional career," Fauci said. "That has somehow been interpreted as my announcing my retirement. When I do decide on the date of stepping down I will make a formal announcement."

Bravo to both Alena and Dr. Fauci, for charting their own course and proving that age really is just a number.