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New Bedford native Robyn Branco is very involved in the Azorean Maritime Heritage Society – she takes great pride in her culture and its ties to New Bedford. She is motivated by youth empowerment and credits Leadership SouthCoast with broadening her awareness of how much work was happening in the community.

 

What do you do professionally? 
I am the Executive Director of the Marion Institute, a local non-profit focused on innovative approaches to healthcare, community-building and sustainability.

How are you involved in the community and what motivates you to engage?
I am very involved in the Azorean Maritime Heritage Society: we promote Azorean culture and shared Azorean whaling heritage by raising awareness and pride within New England’s Azorean-American community as first generation Portuguese, I take great pride in my culture and its ties to New Bedford.  In addition, I sit on numerous committees that promote youth empowerment and community building.  I am motivated largely by youth empowerment in this region as they are our future.  The neighborhood I grew up in in New Bedford looks very different today than when I was a kid – I want to make sure opportunities are available, children feel safe and education is a priority.

What did you find most valuable about the LSC experience and how did it contribute to your community leadership?
It broadened my awareness of how much work was happening in this community. It exposed me to existing programs that I could benefit from not only professionally, but also personally.  The relationships made with other alumni were immeasurable.  It was nice to have a sounding board, a network and a group to share ideas with, collaborate with and learn from.

Describe your leadership in one word.
Empowering.

 

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