Mary Nelson: Remarkable Woman

Local News

Throughout the month of February, NewsChannel 9 will introduce you to a group of four remarkable women in our community. All of them were nominated by our viewers for their commitment to serving the people of Central New York. Our first nominee is a woman who has overcome violence and adversity, and remains a symbol of hope. NewsChannel 9’s Nicole Sommavilla introduces us to Mary Nelson.


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Who is Mary Nelson? On the south side, she’s a beacon of light.

“I just lost my brother 2014, the same type of violence I lost my nephew,” Nelson said.

Gunfire took her nephew, then it took her brother. Three years later, she would lose her sister too. Senseless violence that could have turned her heart cold, instead, ignited a burning fire to do good.

“We have to understand that when you make a choice to take someone’s life, it’s two lives gone. That person who you took and your life, is done,” Nelson said.

After another tragedy, she realized youth in our community needed help. Her mission to help students get supplies they need for the school year bloomed into a youth center she calls a safe haven, full of resources to help young people stay off the street.

Nelson said, “I see a change in people.”

And her community work extends well beyond the south side. Taking on a new role, she’ll now be breathing life and light into homicide victims at a time when they’re surrounded by darkness.


You will learn more about Mary Nelson when Nicole shares the rest of her story during our 30 minute special on the four remarkable women nominated by our viewers. It airs Friday, March 6th at 7 p.m.

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