Mario Davison mug

Mario Davison is the community organizer for the North End Community Improvement Collaborative.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published in the October newsletter of the North End Community Improvement Collaborative.

MANSFIELD -- The new NECIC Community Organizer was born and raised on Harker Street so he will have no problem connecting with the North End community.

A 2014 Mansfield Senior High School graduate, Mario Davison is happy to be a part of the NECIC team. He earned his undergraduate degree from Kent State University and MBA from Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU).

“I just want to see the North End prosper, honestly,” Mario said. “Anything I can do to help the North End ... I want to see people succeed and I want to empower people. I just want to help people be successful.”

He said it means a lot to be able to empower people he’s known his whole life.

“When I went to college I moved away and coming back and interacting with some of the people who might remember me as a kid and they see that I’ve grown up and everything that I’ve accomplished and I think that gives me a level of credibility,” he said.

Working behind the scenes is his passion. Before taking this job Mario worked in the athletic department at MVNU where he oversaw everything from scheduling referees for games to scheduling staffing for the weight room.

“Just seeing the end result is really what I like,” he said. “In this position, I think it will be very fulfilling  when I see people start succeeding and programs that we put in place and the resources that we give them start paying off and they start succeeding.”

Although he said he doesn’t have any major personal goals for his position, he would like to see the Ocie Hill property become a pillar in the North End community again.

“I grew up an Ocie Hill kid, so just to see what’s happened to Ocie Hill, it’s literally disheartening,” he said. “I’d like there to be a plan to build something there to take the place of what Ocie Hill was.”

He also wants to help the next generation of North End kids to remove some of the generational barriers that have been in place, “so we can prosper. We deserve it at this point.”

Mario also mentioned the late Kay Smith, the beautiful soul who last held the Community Organizer position at NECIC, before her untimely death in 2019.

“I didn’t know Kay but from what I hear, Kay was the bomb and I get told everyday that I cannot fill her shoes and don’t even try,” he said with a chuckle.

“Talking to residents, it’s clear that everyone loved Kay and she did an amazing job. I'm just trying to find my own way and not hurt or undo what she did.”

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