Students Find Inspiration at The 2020 NAMM Show

Elizabeth Dale

A Place Called Home (APCH) opened up its doors to the youth in Los Angeles in 1993 with the mission “to provide the gang-affected youth of South Los Angeles with a haven away from the life-threatening dangers and temptations of the streets.” A group of approximately 20 students was able to attend The 2020 NAMM Show to explore the world of music products and the vast opportunities the show has to offer.

A Place Called Home 26th Anniversary

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Founder Debrah Constance found her life forever altered after viewing the critically-acclaimed movie, Stand and Deliver, based on the true story of inner-city teacher Jamie Escalante who impacted the lives of students at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. Shortly after seeing the film, a story appeared in the local paper featuring educators from across California and one teacher, Roland Ganges from Jefferson High School in downtown L.A., caught Constance’s eye. After reading his inspiring story she decided to get involved. Utilizing her position as Vice President at the Jon Douglas Realty Company, Constance pitched the idea of devoting the company’s yearly charitable donations to Ganges and his students. From there, the course of Constance’s life took a dramatic shift. She dove headfirst into the project and later walked away from an extremely successful career in real estate to start A Place Called Home.

In 2009, Jonathan Zeichner stepped in as the executive director and has led the charge at APCH since. Operating under a commitment to "constant learning, improvement and intentional evolution as individuals and as an organization," APCH and Zeichner believe that you have to be inspired to inspire others.

For the past 25 years, APCH has offered a safe space for students and in 2020, a group of these students were able to attend The NAMM Show to explore their passion for music and the music products industry. Their experience was led by volunteer, Susan Wolf, who is also the co-founder of Line 6 (now a part of the Yamaha Guitar Group). While attending the show, this group of aspiring music industry professionals visited Yamaha, Harman, DW, among many other brands to network or gain experience directly from industry veterans.

  • APCH 2020 NAMM Show
  • APCH 2020 NAMM Show
  • APCH 2020 NAMM Show
  • APCH 2020 NAMM Show

I sat down recently with APCH Director of Individual Giving, Hannah Berger, as well as APCH Music Program Lead and NAMM Show 2020 Chaperone, Joaquin Pacheco, to discuss APCH’s experience at The 2020 NAMM Show.

Why did A Place Called Home decide to bring students to The 2020 NAMM Show?

Hannah Berger (HB), APCH Director of Annual Individual Giving, said that, “Our Arts and Creative Expression program includes classes in fine art, dance, music and music production, theater, poetry, video and media arts, fashion design, and photography. Through daily classes, special projects, and field trips, our young people are exposed to a diversity of art and inspiration from across the city and around the world. The NAMM Show has been a highly-anticipated trip of choice for several years for our teen members immersed in our music and music production classes. Every year, our staff eagerly seeks out partnerships to help underwrite the expense of access, transportation to and from south central [Los Angeles], meals and staff supervision because we know how meaningful The NAMM Show experience has been to our members wanting to explore careers in the music industry. For 2020, we were thrilled to have our newest APCH board member, Susan Wolf, host a group of 25 for an unforgettable day of exposure to experts in the field and inspiration that will be a driving force for many of our teen members.

A Place Called Home Music Department: Without You

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"Without You" music and video was produced by the members of APCH and is described by them as "a beautiful piece about the impact of absent fathers in the life of these young people." On vocals is Tamia, Sunny, and Moses.

What would you say was the biggest takeaway/benefit your students received by attending The NAMM Show?

Joaquin Pacheco, APCH Music Program Lead and NAMM 2020 chaperone affirmed that, "The biggest benefit the APCH members received is the level of exposure The NAMM Show offers to the musical world. Attending the show gave our kids an opportunity to see it all, while also learning about the many various career paths one might take in the field of music. From performer, to inventor, brand ambassador, educator, software developer, music publisher, recording studio owner and beyond. The NAMM experience inspired APCH members to see the tremendous variety of career possibilities and supercharge their goals and motivations."

How can our NAMM Member companies get involved in support APCH or your students?

HB: There are so many ways to get involved! APCH offers hands-on weekly, monthly and special workshop volunteer opportunities, a robust teen mentoring program, and a menu of special events on-and-off campus. APCH is a 501c3 non-profit organization and funds programs and services for 1,000 members mostly through private support. For more information, NAMM members are welcome to visit or see their story on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter by following @APCH2830.

Editor's Note: Nonprofits with a shared mission of The NAMM Foundation are welcomed to attend The NAMM Show through the Nonprofit Management Institute. Learn more at Authorized NAMM member companies may register family members under the age of 18. Parents/legal guardians of underage attendees must complete a Minor Waiver Release of Liability during the badge registration process in order to receive badge confirmation. Underage attendees are only permitted on the show floor during show hours and must be accompanied by an adult over 18 at all times. For all NAMM Show policies please visit /thenammshow/2020/info.