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 Fellow 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.
Announcing the 2021 Bill Arnold Fellow – Angely Francisco
Hello! My name is Angely Francisco, and I was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. I’m a proud daughter of immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. I definitely had an exciting childhood due to being raised in a Dominican household; I grew up speaking Spanish, I ate Dominican food every day, and I was always around so many family members. I discovered my interest in volunteer work when I entered high school, and I was required to complete hours for one of my classes.
Ever since that experience, I gained a passion for service and have been heavily involved in countless service projects in my community. I’m a first-generation college student, which means I’m the first person in my family to attend college.
I’m currently finishing up my third year at Montclair State University, and I’m majoring in Family Science and Human Development and minoring in social work and leadership. Currently, I’m a part of a community engagement program called Bonner Leaders, a Resident Assistant and development intern for an anti-hunger organization called CUMAC.
I was involved with AMIGOS this past summer as a Program Mentor for the Community Impact Project, and this summer, I will be a Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Montañas y Mar Project in Costa Rica.
I’m extremely passionate about youth development, community engagement, mental health, trauma-informed work, and holistic practices. In the future, I hope to work with youth in my community to prevent and alleviate adverse childhood experiences. I hope to work in the nonprofit sector or in the counseling field.
My ultimate dream is to create my own community center where youth can come to feel safe, grow as individuals, and receive the resources they need to thrive.
In the upcoming months, I would like to learn more about my community in order to serve it in the best way possible. This stipend will allow me to jumpstart my dream of having my own community center by allowing me to begin working on community projects for youth. I would like to create workshops and interactive programs to help the youth in my community heal and grow.
Everyone has their own definition of what a leader is; to me, a leader is someone who inspires, brings confidence, and uplifts others towards their fullest potential. To me, the most important skills that every good leader should possess is courage, empathy, and perseverance.
More About Bill’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.