Q&A with Rick Cummins, MCH Youth Care Counselor II

Rick Cummins has been at MCH for 19 years. He and his wife Sylvia were homeparents for 12 years. Rick now serves as a youth care counselor who spends most of his day in the classroom at the UT Charter School on the Waco campus. Rick has a passion for history and has been instrumental in providing guest speakers, mostly veterans of WWII, for our youth. Recently, he invited Mr. Paul Marable, a 2nd Lieutenant with the 90th Infantry Division, to share his story. Mr. Marable landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, France, two days after D-Day on June 8, 1944. He was taken prisoner 12 days later and spent the rest of the war in a German prison war camp in Poland.

Rick Cummings with WWII veteran Paul Marable

(Pictured above: Rick Cummins, left, with World War II veteran Paul Marable)

We sat down with Rick to learn more about his passion for history.

Q: How did you become interested in history?
A: My grandfather was at the Battle of the Bulge and this kindled my interest. I have interviewed close to 100 WWII veterans, including 25 Pearl Harbor veterans, and three Holocaust survivors. I have also researched the descendants of our presidents back to Thomas Jefferson.

Q: What impact do you feel these veterans have on our students?
A: My hope is that hearing their stories of adversity and survival inspires them. I hope it brings an awareness of the sacrifices these men and women have made for our country. Hearing the stories from people who lived through these experiences brings history to life for me. I also hope some of our youth will decide to be history teachers.

Q: What has kept you here at MCH all these years?
A: I really enjoy working here. I value the relationships my wife and I have built with the youth. We keep in contact with many of our alumni. I enjoy seeing how they have grown and excelled since leaving MCH. Many of these veterans and Holocaust survivors talk about having a connection to someone during their difficulties. Many of our own youth come from hard places and I see the correlation of how important relationships are and the youth’s resiliency.

Mr. Don Grisham, a history teacher for the UT Charter School, had this to say about Rick:

“Rick loves this nation and its history. He has been a wonderful resource and I have appreciated his willingness to help us make history more fun. He has a kind heart and he is a good man.”

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