When Randy Mummert talks about music, he does so with a glimmer in his eye.
After first picking up a guitar at the age of 20, he went on to play saxophone, flute, harmonica, and bass guitar. He’s been a part of rock bands, country bands, bluegrass bands, you name it. It’s clearly his passion – a passion he’s excited to share with others, specifically foster teens.
“All my life I have taught people music if they wanted to learn music,” he said. “That’s the only payment I want. If you show me you’ve got some passion and you do some work and want to learn and get better, then I’m willing to work with you… I get a lot of satisfaction out of it, a lot of enjoyment.
That enjoyment is written all over his face when he shows up to the CASA office on Monday nights to give guitar lessons to teens living in out-of-home placement.
“Each student has to make progress at their own pace and I can get really enthusiastic about a young player who has worked for three weeks just to get that darn D chord and finally after three weeks, they can do it,” he said. “But sometimes it takes weeks just to learn a single chord. I love watching the progress but I also recognize that that’s not really my goal. My goal is to just introduce the music to the kids. I can tell if they’ve tried to make progress on their own and I’m really happy to teach the same thing over and over again week after week if the young student is still enthusiastic.”
In addition to sharing his love of music with teens, Randy is a Court Appointed Special Advocate who speaks up in the court system for children removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
Before his involvement with CASA, the Minnesota native was a semiconductor engineer who knew he wanted to work with kids during retirement.
“I knew I wanted to do something with teenagers, with the older kids, and as it turned out there’s quite a need for men to work with the young men.”
What drives Randy to help foster kids?
“Some people helped me during my high school years,” he said. “There were adults that did things for me that they didn’t have to do and it made a world of difference in my life. Not necessarily formal volunteers, but people who stepped up when I needed some help and I would love to be that man for somebody.”
So he pays it forward two-fold: as a CASA and as a guitar teacher, two contributions that are entirely different but that both make a difference for kids in need.
On a personal level, Randy plays with a band called BJ Estares and Route 61. He also teaches guitar lessons to returning soldiers at Fort Carson as part of a reintegration program, and is a board member for the Pikes Peak Blues Community.
There are many ways that YOUR specific life experiences, skills, and time could benefit kids in our community. If you’re interested in volunteering with CASA, give us a call at 719-447-9898 and ask for Uriko!