Alena Wicker is doing something that none of her peers at school are probably doing: she's going to university.
Normally, you'd have to wait until you were around 18 years old, finish school, get a decent final exam mark, submit your applications and hope and pray you get in and can afford college.
But this 12-year-old genius has skipped a couple of steps and plans to soon attend Arizona State University.
The Arizona local wants to major in astronomical and planetary sciences and chemistry and hopes to one day be working for NASA.
While some might slot that type of dream into their five or 10 year plan, Alena reckons she'll get there by the time she's 16.
"I'll be driving one of those future space mobiles by the time I graduate college," she said. "It doesn't matter what your age or what you're planning to do," Wicker said. "Go for it, dream, then accomplish it."
She was inspired by the recent landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars and is setting her sights on being a part of the next exploration mission.
Her love for the industry began when she started playing with LEGO at a young age, and her passion has exploded ever since.
The child prodigy's mum, Daphne McQuarter, has been shocked and amazed at how quickly she picked up skills when she was younger.
When she noticed Alena was rushing ahead in the school curriculum, she started to believe her daughter was destined for great things.
"At 4 years old, she said, 'Mommy, I'm going to work for NASA, and I'm going to go up there.' She would point to the stars," her mum said.
"She just had a gift for numbers and LEGOs and science, so I started nurturing that gift."
Alena is hoping to start a podcast to build her profile and hopefully attract the likes of NASA if they have a job opening in the near future.
She certainly isn't the youngest person to be granted a spot at a university.
Laurent Simons captured headlines around the world in 2019 when it was revealed he was heading to uni at the tender age of nine. He was studying towards an electrical engineering degree at the University of Eindhoven.
But sadly he was told by the educational institution that he was going to be unable to meet his December 26 deadline for graduation.
That date that would make him the only person ever to graduate from a university under the age of 10. Because he was going to miss the graduation mark, his parents pulled him out.
Featured Image Credit: ABC 7