I am so happy and grateful to be part of the Baldwin Scholars class of 2023!

My name is Arianna Buchanan and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. With Los Angeles being a diverse, multi-ethnic city, I am so thankful to have lived there for all my life and to call this city my home. Coming from a mixed heritage background, I was able to explore each of my different cultures within Los Angeles. My African-American, Japanese father left a small town to pursue a future more promising than the limited path presented to him. My mother immigrated from El Salvador to escape civil war, leaving her family behind. As a child, I loved listening to my parents’ stories and learning about their cultural roots and how they ended up in Los Angeles.

For my entire life, I have been passionate about playing soccer. When I was fifteen, I received an email about tryouts for the El Salvador Women’s National Soccer Team that were being held in Los Angeles. At tryouts, I was intimidated by everyone’s talent, but I was just grateful for the experience. To my surprise, a couple days later, I received a phone call inviting me to join the team. If I accepted, I would train and live in El Salvador for a whole summer. My mother had reservations. Having grown up in the midst of civil war, her childhood plagued by memories of poverty and violence, she feared for my safety. Eventually, however, my ambition outweighed my fear and I traveled to El Salvador. There, I found a huge language barrier. Regardless, I was eager to connect to the language and traditions my mother had left behind. Ultimately, my teammates and I worked around the language barrier and became a tight knit family.

At Duke, I immediately felt a sense of belonging when accepted into this Baldwin family. I hope to pursue a path as pre-med, while majoring in sociology and minoring in Spanish.

I am extremely excited for the upcoming years at Duke as a Baldwin Scholar!