Robin Brule, an Albuquerque resident and fellow Lobo, was named the 44th New Mexico Mother of the Year earlier this month. Her advocacy for mothers in the workplace, flexible balancing of her own professional and family life and her philanthropic contributions to her community earned her the nomination.
Brule said she considers the title to be a “heartfelt, unexpected honor and privilege,” and that it reflects how honoring her own mother and supporting motherhood, in general, has been a consistent theme in her life.
In addition to being a mother of three, Brule is currently the chief community engagement officer at Nusenda Credit Union. Brule considers this career role to be a fortuitous engagement due to its alignment with her personal values of aiding the needs of her immediate community.
“We work on external engagement in the community that we serve, and through the services that we provide, we are able to support economic well-being and growth in a unique and innovative way,” she said. “It is an honor to have this job, and it is an honor to meet with organizations where they are and support communities.”
Indeed, Brule’s desire to support her surrounding community has motivated her throughout her lifetime and is incidentally rooted in childhood. Brule’s parents fostered her philanthropic inclinations by teaching her to donate an old toy once she received a new one, volunteer at food and clothing drives, and offer support to a variety of service-based organizations in need of volunteers.
“My parents wanted me to have a deep understanding of the world and its challenges, so I was exposed to all ways of life — including spending time on an Amish farm,” She said.
Specifically, Brule’s mother imprinted valuable lessons that have shaped her perspective on life today. Brule’s mother was a public school teacher who would frequently donate Brule’s clothes to her teenage students in need of basic necessities.
“My mother believed that you cannot go a single day without impacting the people around you,” Brule said fondly. “You only see a glimpse of people’s lives, so be as kind and understanding as you possibly can. There’s always a choice around how you wake up and what you put out there and what you give back.”
Brule has evidently taken her mother’s influence to heart. Before working at Nusenda, Brule worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital, at the University of New Mexico as an executive director of the Children’s Hospital, at the Central New Mexico Community College as an executive director of its foundation, and she even considered becoming a social worker. Furthermore, Brule has helped create support programs for working mothers in various sectors, from healthcare to financial industries.
“I have partnered with organizations to promote workforce development, economic development and what people need holistically for moms to succeed,” Brule said.
Despite the demands of work, Brule ensured that she passed on the lessons she learned in childhood to her own children. Growing up, Brule’s son was involved in Americorps, volunteered at the Animal Humane Society and even assisted the Kids on the Block nonprofit program, giving performances with life-size puppets intended to educate children on how to combat issues such as bullying and child abuse.
“I always wanted my children to know that you don’t have to have a lot of money to help a community, and similarly, it doesn’t matter what age you are. Anyone can do it,” Brule said.
Brule will be recognized during the 85th National Convention of American Mothers, Inc. in Washington, DC, this coming April. She will also visit with members of Congress as an ambassador for New Mexico Mothers.
Brule summed up her life credo and said, “I want to pass on a legacy of, ‘you’re part of this earth, so you have a commitment to it and humankind.’ When you’re 80 years old and looking back, you want to be proud of your journey.”
Beatrice Nisoli is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BeatriceNisoli