Khalia Braswell was in the 4th grade when her mother received her tax refund and asked her if she wanted a pair of Jordan sneakers or a computer. For Braswell, the decision was easy- a computer. This choice would lay the foundation for Braswell’s future pursuits in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
Starting her high school journey at Phillip O. Berry Technology Academy in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, Braswell’s interest in technology started to be cultivated. Especially with the help of two Black women by the name of Jermel Byrd and Louise Suggs. Bryd was Braswell’s advanced placement computer science teacher and Suggs managed all of the school’s IT systems.
“In my head, I wanted to be like Mrs. Suggs, because she knows all the things about tech…” Braswell told Because of Them We Can. “She’s in control, she’s running it, I wanted to be that.”