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The Bill Arnold Leadership Award was created to remember a cherished member of our AMIGOS community. Bill Arnold passed away on August 5, 2020 after a battle with cancer. The award fund for the Bill Arnold Leadership Award was established from the support of the Arnold family and other generous donors.

Each year, we will select a volunteer or project staff member to be a Bill Arnold Fellow. Fellows must demonstrate exceptional leadership and a commitment to AMIGOS vision of a world where all people are lifelong leaders who share responsibility for our global community. The award provides each fellow with a stipend to pursue an educational or civic engagement opportunity.

 

About Dalia

I am Dalia Hernández Abril, a young agent of change and a global citizen. I was born 18 years ago in a small town in Ecuador called Babahoyo to a close-knit family in which I have grown up full of dreams and with a persevering spirit.

I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and am at the top of my class. I credit my drive and leadership to my experiences with climbing which I started six years ago. This sport helped me overcome my shyness and fear of new challenges.

At 16 years old I felt that there was a greater need that called me when I was walking home from school because I saw many people and families struggling to find food and that were living on the streets. This is how I became interested in volunteering with the Food Bank at the Diocese of Babahoyo. This organization has become my home and where I became a leader. There are currently 50 volunteers fighting against food waste and hunger and poverty in the most vulnerable areas.

My journey as a youth continued with AMIGOS after being awarded a scholarship as a national volunteer for the 2021 La Sierra Project, which was an incredible experience that I remember every day. I learned about different cultures and experiences that helped me realize that even as a student I can use my hands, my voice, and my actions to build a better world.

After that experience, I joined another program called the Social Impact Accelerator. I was able to use funds from the program and create an important service project “Less Hunger,” an Urban, Organic, and Solidarity Garden which has had the objective of benefiting low-income families with free food while also counteracting global warming.

Thanks to this award I plan to honor the memory of Bill Arnold and use the grant to attend an International Youth Leadership Summit with the aim of specializing in community development. I firmly believe that many social problems can be improved through the participation of young people and our example of positive impact and our contribution to the development of our communities.

 

Conozca a Dalia

Soy Dalia Hernández Abril una joven agente de cambio y ciudadana global, nací hace 18 años en una pequeña ciudad de Ecuador llamada Babahoyo, en el seno costeño de una familia de buenos valores y de riquezas intangibles, un hogar en el que he crecido llena de sueños y con un espíritu perseverante gracias a sus integrantes.

Soy Bachiller de la Republica en Contabilidad con el mejor puntaje de mi promoción pero estoy segura que mi condición de liderazgo nació hace 6 años atrás cuando empecé una experiencia deportiva que ayudó a forjar mis actitudes de disciplina y perseverancia durante 5 años. Sí, la escalada deportiva fue un refugio para eliminar mi timidez y el temor a los nuevos retos.

A mis 16 años sentía que había una necesidad más grande que me llamaba día a día en el trayecto del colegio a casa, pues veía muchas personas en la calle que no tenían insumos para alimentarse y muchas hogares con escases de recursos, fue así como me interesé en un programa que nacía en la ciudad, el Banco de Alimentos Diócesis de Babahoyo que poco a poco se ha vuelto mi hogar y donde fui recibida para ser Líder del Grupo Juvenil donde actualmente somos 50 voluntarios luchando contra el desperdicio de alimentos, el hambre y la pobreza en las zonas más vulnerables de nuestro cantón.

Cabe recalcar que mi trayectoria como Líder Juvenil se ha vuelto potenciada por Amigos de las Américas pues ser becada como voluntaria nacional para el Summer Camp – La Sierra 2021 ha sido una experiencia increíble que vive en mi mente día a día ya que aprendí de muchas culturas, historias y experiencias que me ayudaron a darme cuenta que mis manos, mi voz juvenil y mis acciones son un puente para un mundo mejor.

Posterior a mi experiencia, me uní a otro programa llamado Social Impact Accelerator, pude implementar una de las actividades más importantes “Less Hunger” un Huerto Urbano, Orgánico y Solidario; financiado por el programa, el cual ha tenido el objetivo de beneficiar a varias familias de bajos recursos con alimentos gratuitos y contrarrestar el calentamiento global.

Gracias a este premio pienso honrar la memoria de Bill Arnold y usar el subsidio para asistir a alguna Cumbre Juvenil Internacional de Liderazgo con el objetivo de especializarme en desarrollo comunitario; pues creo firmemente en que muchas problemáticas sociales, se pueden mejorar mediante la participación de los jóvenes, siendo así ejemplos de impacto positivo y contribuyendo al desarrollo de nuestra comunidad.

 

More About Bill Arnold’s Legacy

Bill’s journey with AMIGOS started in 1965. He was part of the first AMIGOS class of volunteers and joined the program from his home in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and while a student at Cornell University. Over the next three years, Bill helped launch the “youth-led program” model that AMIGOS has championed for more than 50 years. In 1966, he served as the senior member of the staff team, and in 1967, he served as Country Director of Guatemala. That summer, Bill met Cathy Anthony, a volunteer from Houston. They married in 1971 and their daughter Elizabeth also became an AMIGOS volunteer 30 years later.

The Arnolds have been an inspirational AMIGOS family. Both Bill and Cathy served on the Board of Directors and helped found the Atlanta Chapter in Georgia. Bill received his master’s degree in Latin American studies and became an esteemed leader in international business and government. He enjoyed a diverse career spanning senior roles in volunteer organizations, banking, government, and academia –all connected by his lifelong commitment to improving global understanding. Bill enjoyed positions with Texas Commerce Bank, the Export-Import Bank in Washington, D.C. appointed by the Reagan-Bush administration, Royal Dutch Shell (Head of International Government Relations), and Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business (Professor in the Practice of Energy Management) where he pioneered new courses and taught more than 1,000 students over a decade. Bill leaves behind an indelible legacy of compassion, courage, and leadership. He will be profoundly missed by his family and friends, but also by the many lives he touched around the world. His unwavering encouragement, optimism, and confidence in each of us that knew him will forever be a source of strength and inspiration.

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