A student hopes to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps in architecture


Motivated by her grandfather’s career and time with him, Sacha Braggs is determined to pursue a career in architecture, so that she can one day restore dilapidated commercial buildings in her hometown of Dallas.

Persistent and enthusiastic, Sacha Braggs arrived at the University of Miami in 2019 with a mission to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and become an architect.

“Although he passed away when I was young, I feel like the little time I got to spend with him, building little figures, had a lasting impression on me,” said Braggs, originally from Dallas. “He has devoted his whole life to his career in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.”

Today, Braggs is in her third year of the School of Architecture’s five-year Accredited Professional Program, earning her Bachelor of Architecture degree.

Early in Braggs’ life, her mother observed how artistic and mathematically inclined she was for her age. To ensure that she received the best possible education, her mother decided to move her and her younger brother from the city center to the suburbs. “Coming to the University of Miami was important because I wanted to be in a diverse place. Somewhere where I could be exposed to more cultures.

Braggs said her time at the University has so far provided her with a rich cultural experience. It also gave him the opportunity to explore social organizations. Currently, she is involved with four student organizations that provide the perfect balance of philanthropy, spirituality, connection, and fun.

She is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students; KAOS, a mixed hip-hop dance team; and Community of Christian Athletes (FCA). She is also co-chair of Kids in Culture, a volunteer student organization that strives to show young local students that college is accessible regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

“We go to local community centers and interact with the kids there to provide tutoring, and we play games and just engage with them on Fridays,” said Braggs, who represents one of the few black women in STEM-related fields. in the nation.

LaTosha Ramsey, assistant director of student retention and programs at the Cane Success Center, became Braggs’ mentor. The two met through FCA, as Ramsey hosts the weekly Bible studies for women.

“FCA is a safe space for our students to grow in a Christ-like environment,” said Ramsey, who describes Braggs as a dependable and overall great person. “With young girls like Sacha and others, we want to teach them the Bible scriptures while giving them the space to interpret them and pass them on to their daily lives.”

Braggs said she is grateful to her FCA family and grateful that Ramsey serves as a mother figure in Miami. “I enjoy spreading the love and word of God throughout campus through fellowship and volunteerism,” she said.

As she nears the finish line of her program, Braggs finally feels like she’s adjusted to campus life and is continuously navigating her architectural education. Although sometimes arduous, she knows that the reward of becoming an architect one day will be worth it.

“I knew going into this major the program would be tough,” said Braggs, who received multiple scholarships based on her high school academic performance. “There can be a lot of long nights, or you know, no sleep at all. And sometimes it can be difficult, but I feel like the work you can create is so rewarding in the end.

Through her position as a student-employee at the School of Architecture, she met several faculty members. She said getting to know them beyond the classroom has allowed her to see the limitless career options her future field offers.

“We have wonderful professors who actually have jobs in the field and being a professor is not their only occupation,” Braggs said. “Some of them work in multiple countries and even own their own business. I think that makes them more discerning.

In the future, Braggs hopes to give back to downtown communities by starting a nonprofit company that restores commercial buildings in the downtown core, where marginalized people often don’t have access to basic resources.

“We’ve all seen these abandoned places in towns and cities that have nothing in them,” Braggs said. “I feel like I can rejuvenate, not gentrify, these places by giving [marginalized people] a place to live. . . they can have access to food, shelter and other resources that would allow them to thrive.


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