My name is McKenna Raley, and I am honored and grateful to be a part of the Baldwin Class of 2023. I have never been in a program specifically designed to help me develop alongside such strong and engaged women, so I plan to soak up every moment.

I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have strong roots there. Most of my extended family, closest friends, and mentors also live in Tulsa. As such, I think my long held concept of home as a concrete location originates from the fact that my favorite people all came from the same place. My time in college has challenged this notion and thus, despite my love for Tulsa, my understanding of “home” is constantly evolving.

I graduated from Booker T. Washington, an extremely diverse public high school that fosters inclusion and acceptance. Booker T. helped shape the way I view my relationships and encouraged me to understand people more deeply. I love learning others’ stories, especially in the ways that they are different from my own.

I am supported by two amazing parents, a sister who is my best friend, and a wonderful extended family. Their presence in my life motivates me to improve each day.

A melting pot of sports, exercise, and the outdoors makes up my passion. If I am watching TV, ESPN is my channel of choice. I played many sports throughout my childhood, but soccer stuck with me through graduation. I am happiest when I am wandering around National Parks, particularly if I am backpacking through them.

I have played the guitar for seven years, a practice that developed a lens for me to view life. Though it can be individual, the learning one experiences is enhanced by a band of diverse instruments and sounds. The same balance in a concert between solos and complete songs can be found between an individual and her family, her team, or her community.

On campus, I am in Duke Sports Management, the Women’s Club Soccer Team, Duke Coaches Organization, and House Council. I would love to get involved in sustainability or climate initiatives. I am undecided in terms of major or career, but my current interests are Political Science, Economics, Environmental Science and Policy, and International Comparative Studies.

I am constantly learning new things about myself and I am working to be as open throughout this journey of discovery as possible. I cannot wait to see how Baldwin helps me do just that.