BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Marylanders continue to mourn the loss of Congressman Elijah Cummings.
Cummings died early Thursday morning at the Gilchrist Hospice Care at the age of 68 from longstanding health challenges.
Congressman Cummings leaves behind a legacy of public service and community activism. The Elijah Cummings Youth Program is a shining example of that.
“As I’ve gotten older, I realize it’s not just good enough to be alive,” Cummings had said earlier this year. “You want to have a quality life.”
Cummings lived out those words, and the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel is a prime example of that- a leadership program for 11th and 12th-grade students in his district that includes study in Israel.
“Building relationships with someone different from you is vital,” Elijah Cummings Youth Program Director Kathleen Hill said. “Knowing the different persons, the different communities- understanding, being able to have a conversation, even though you may be different doesn’t mean you can’t have dialogue.”
The program focuses on bringing African-American and Jewish people together. Chijioke Oranye is a graduate.
“He said don’t strive for convenience, but lead with conviction,” Oranye said. “To me, that quote hit home. Being an immigrant, I was complaining about all the difficulties associated with our identity and I was there graduating from the program. I was going to attend Johns Hopkins.”
On Friday, October 25, funeral services will be held at New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore. A wake with a public viewing will begin at 8 a.m. followed immediately by funeral services at 10 a.m.
Rep. Cummings worshiped for nearly four decades at New Psalmist Baptist Church under the leadership of Bishop Walter S. Thomas, Sr.