Audrey Hardman-Hartley was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, raised in El Paso, Texas and Hilo, Hawaii, and returned to Las Cruces to attend New Mexico State University.
Twenty six years after completing a master’s degree, and following a career in the medical field, Hardman-Hartley again returned to NMSU to study Early Childhood Education and serve as Executive Director of Jardin de Los Niños from 2014-2018. A lifelong volunteer who has committed time to the board of directors for Las Cruces Public School and March of Dimes, Hardman-Hartley also fundraised for Camino de Vida Center for HIV Services’ events.
Recipient of the 2018 John Paul Taylor Social Justice Award, in this interview Hardman-Hartley advocates for children’s literacy through the Dogs Who Read program, the practice of therapeutic intervention developmental screening at Jardin de Los Niños, and increased need for Early Childhood Education in New Mexico.
To outline 2018 health and human service resources available to children aged eighteen and under on Mesilla Valley Community of Hope campus, Hardman-Hartley speaks about collaboration with Amador Health Center to open a pediatric clinic located at Jardin de Los Niños. Because best practices that concern young children remain stringent and subjected to continuous oversight from the State of New Mexico, the level of security at Jardin de Los Niños allows for respite and calmness unlike other spaces on the Hope campus.
While many people may be surprised that children are present in this setting, Jardin de Los Niños provides a vital function to parents and children experiencing homeless by allowing the time, space, and appropriate resources to recover from family hardships unseen by most.