Gratitude to our Founder: Honoring the Legacy of Arthur H. Goodman


November 24, 2021

As we reflect on this past year, we want to express our gratitude to Arthur H. Goodman, our founder.  In an unprecedented year with unique challenges, his core philosophy and commitment to helping the underserved was, as always, a guiding light. At the heart of the foundation that Art built, was gratitude.  As an organization, we give back in many ways, but we want to highlight here how we continue to recognize our founder.

In 1997, we launched the Arthur H. Goodman Scholarship Fund to pay tribute to his legacy. The fund supports women or minority students moving from community college to a four-year college or university in California, Arizona or Nevada.

“Art was a fierce advocate for providing opportunities for women and people of color and that is reflected in the mission of who receives the scholarships,” said Robert Villarreal, executive vice president of FE Small Business Finance.

“Many find the means to attend a community college, but without the same resources and opportunities, finances become a barrier to attending a four-year university. The fund steps in at this critical juncture with financial support.” 


Education and giving back

To bridge that gap, over the course of two decades, we’re proud to have awarded in excess of $270,000 in scholarships. More than 60 worthy students bound for prestigious universities have received the awards. Those campuses include UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, the California State University system and the University of Arizona.

scholarship giving

Dalila Robledo at CERN, one of the world’s leading research centers.

Their interests and backgrounds vary greatly, but they share two things in common. They seek to improve themselves and their prospects through education, while also serving their communities.

“We really wanted to look at what they did as part of their volunteer work and what they aspired to do when they graduated. We wanted that to represent a really clear connection to benefitting the communities that we care about,” said Kurt Chilcott, FE Small Business Finance’s President and CEO.

Take one of our recipients, Dalila Robledo. When she graduated from high school, she needed remedial classes in English and math. By 2021 though, she had greatly sharpened her skills. She continued her studies at UC Berkeley, while earning the right to participate in research at the prestigious CERN laboratory outside Geneva, Switzerland. 

“I don’t see a lot of people like me” at places like CERN, she said. “This is how far a scholarship can take you.”

Finding another way

Juan Flores can testify to the distance he’s traveled – from prison, to the brink and back.

Juan joined a gang at 14, and had been sentenced to prison by his early ‘20s. After a friend was shot and killed, he knew he had to find another way. He attended Palomar College, and with the help of our scholarship transferred to UC Berkeley. There he joined the Underground Scholars Initiative at UC Berkeley, a program for formerly incarcerated students. He also received support from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

Arthur H. Goodman scholarship recipient and UC Berkeley junior

Juan Flores, an Arthur H. Goodman scholarship recipient and UC Berkeley student.

“I just knew I wanted something better for myself,” Juan said. “I’ve always seen education as something that in the long run can benefit a person to obtain a career, a house, a job.”

Rachelle Hornby of Tucson returned to college after raising two sons. She attended community college due to a need to read blueprints, but she didn’t stop there. First, she earned an associates degree in building and construction. Then she transferred to the University of Arizona to study sustainability and heritage conservation. 

After she received her scholarship, she said she planned to put up a photo of Arthur H. Goodman. That way, “on the days I feel discouraged, I can have a little reminder of why in part I am where I am,” she said.

Beto Vasquez, a community outreach and engagement coordinator at UCSD, also benefitted from our scholarship. He extends his gratitude to FE and its supporters and donors for their generosity in giving to the fund.

“It is because of folks like you that lives can be changed, not only directly, but also indirectly,” he said. “The lives that you touch will have rippling effects on others.”

Long-term legacy of giving

scholarship giving

Rachelle Hornby, who attended the University of Arizona.

We are grateful to the many institutions and individuals who have donated to the Arthur H. Goodman Scholarship Fund. The generous contributions extend Arthur H. Goodman’s legacy to cover many future generations of students.

“Collectively as an organization, we thought raising funds for the scholarship program would be a legacy to Art,” Kurt said. “We honored him as our founder, and also honored that we have continued to be committed to the same type of work that Art started, and actually on an even larger scale than what we were doing when Art was running the organization.”

“It was always our intent that this was something that would go on forever. It’s a lasting way to honor Art and his legacy into the future.”

Click below to join us in celebrating our founder and helping to create life-changing opportunities through education.

[maxbutton id=”1″ url=”” text=”To learn more and donate click here” /]

Do you want to invest in a bright future? Contact Robert Villarreal to learn more about how to donate to the Arthur H. Goodman Scholarship Fund – (619)243-8652 or Meanwhile, if you are interested in seeking a scholarship, the application period re-opens in early 2021. Visit our page for updates on deadlines or to obtain an application. 


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