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Ya Vaughn Harlston


Ya Vaughn Harlston is a licensed architect and the Director of Architecture at Nia Architects. She has twenty-two years of experience in architecture working in healthcare, commercial, institutional, and residential sectors. Her role as the Director of Architecture is managing and mentoring staff in the architecture department and actively leading and participating in project phases within a project team and striving to meet the needs of the clients she serves and collaborating with consultants. Ya Vaughn is working on her MBA degree with a dual concentration in Finance and Healthcare Management. Since 2009, Ya Vaughn started as a mentor for the NAACP ACT-SO DuPage County program, mentoring high school students in the architecture category who have won gold and silver medals. Currently, she is the co-chairperson for the ACT-SO Chicago Southside Program, mentoring high school students in architecture, music (vocal/instrumental), and sustainable building categories for the local and national competition. In 2020 and 2021, her high school student team won gold medal in the sustainable building category at the NAACP ACT-CO National Competition.