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Spotlight on Jacquie Henderson,
Director of Development 

“All i’ve ever wanted to do is help…”


Dressed to perform part of the Rockettes “Toy Soldier” tap routine at Busch Gardens

Where are you from, and can you briefly describe your journey that brought you to this point in your life?

Where to begin… I was born in Rochester, NY; grew up in Florida; made my home in Atlanta; and moved to LA in 2015, which is now my forever home.

I grew up singing, dancing, and acting so I breathe the arts. I was on my junior high and high school dance team, but in junior year I shifted my focus to the drama department where I was in every play and every musical, serving as the choreographer for a lot of the time. I danced through college, but ultimately my career path was marketing and advertising. I built a career on the corporate side that I am very proud of, but I’m more proud that I get to now spend my days with people who energize and inspire me to make a difference in the world.

What brought you to Education Through Music-Los Angeles, and what inspired you to join?

I grew up in a family that needed a lot of help to keep going – a single mother of three girls, getting no child support. We received tremendous support from friends, teammates, and colleagues, which engrained within us the importance of giving back. I came to a point – after working for great companies, I should add – where I wanted to do more with my day than just make money for a company that didn’t really need it. Gratefully, I found ETM-LA on a whim and I knew it was where I wanted to be.

What’s your “why”? Why do you do what you do?

All I’ve ever wanted to do is help (just ask my mom, or my third grade teacher who gave me the “Most Helpful” award at the end of the year). To be able to use my specific skillset to further the mission of an organization that’s changing lives, sign me up!

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

Wanting to do it all. My role is multifaceted and I want to do all of it every single day – work on grant proposals, grow our marketing, meet with donors, personally thank our contributors, plan impactful fundraisers – so that I can keep ETM-LA going, growing, and thriving. But alas, there are only so many hours in the day!

Jacquie (front, left) in junior high mixed choral ensemble Grand Central Station (Central JHS)

What keeps you motivated?

I work with the most talented, dedicated, and FUN people anyone could ask for. And those days that I get to visit a school, or watch our kids perform, or talk to parents, there’s no better motivation in the world than seeing the difference you are helping to make.

Have you ever had a music educator in your life who impacted you? If so, could you tell us a little bit about them, and how they may have influenced you?

Mrs. Nathan, who thanks to social media I am still in touch with today. She was my chorus and ensemble teacher in junior high, where I really found my voice (pun intended) and gained confidence in my singing ability. It’s hard to describe how she impacted my life, but anyone who’s had an amazing music teacher understands. I love you, Mrs. Nathan!

What do you think is the best part about working with ETM-LA?  

Getting to tell people about what I do, after which the person I’m talking to immediately goes into a personal story of the impact of music on their life. I also love to learn how envious people are that I’m getting to make a difference with my work – may I be so lucky as to help to inspire the next corporate convert (there I go again, looking for a way to help…)!


With Food Network’s Guy Fieri