Alumni Profile

Raphael Henderson '82

Not a Volunteer Raphael Henderson ’82 may be a banker, but he isn’t the tight-lipped, buttoned-down type. First vice president and regional investment manager at California Federal Bank,

this 14-year veteran of bank brokerage spends about 20 hours a month helping various people and organizations, including disadvantaged youths wanting to attend Henderson’s alma mater.
But don’t call him a volunteer. “That’s someone who does something with no compensation,” Henderson insists. “There are plenty of rewards for what I do.”
Take, for instance, his help to young minorities whom he guides through their application to USC and consequent studies. “The reward is seeing the kids graduate and now work using their USC education,” he says. “It’s the opportunity to have an impact. That’s reward in itself.”

Los Angeles born and bred, Henderson has rooted for Trojans his entire life. “My dad always took me to football games when I was growing up,” he says. “To me, the university has always been part of the community.”
But it was his experience as a USC student that first connected Henderson to his current activities. As an undergraduate, he was a field rep for now State Sen. Teresa Hughes and a counselor with USC Mini College, an immersion program for local junior high students.
“After I graduated, it just seemed natural to become a volunteer recruiter. About 15 or so students have come through with my help,” says Henderson, whose philosophy as a recruiter-mentor is of the compassionate but “no-excuses, you-have-to-discipline-yourself” school.
Such self-reliance is Henderson’s message in the business world, too. Near the Cal Fed branches he manages in Watts, Inglewood and East Los Angeles, he moonlights as an investment educator, teaching people in the community how to make their money grow.
“We don’t need to depend on any other resource than ourselves,” he tells his classes. Henderson gets a kick out of introducing new investors to the thrills of the market. “It’s great to see people contribute $50 a month to something,” he says.
For these and his other outreach efforts, Henderson was recently honored as one of four Proven Achievers — an award given annually by radio station KJLH and Disneyland recognizing distinguished individuals in Southern California’s minority communities. Meanwhile, the State Senate has appointed him to its Advisory Commission on Cost Control in State Government.
No, Henderson certainly isn’t the buttoned-down, tight-lipped banker type. “I’ll talk about investing at churches, senior citizen centers, inner-city schools,” he says. “I’ll even talk about it at a bus stop, if someone will listen.”


 

 

 


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