A local woman used her won heartbreak to spark change in the community. Just this week, Sonya Arrington stepped into her new role as City Council President, but she says that triumph started with tragedy eight years ago, today.
Every day, Sonya Arrington carries with her the memory of January 5th, 2010. “The day my son died,” she tells us. “I sat on the couch and I told my husband, ‘I’m gonna make something positive come out of what happened to our son.'”
Her son, Steve, was shot and killed in what she describes as an act of “senseless violence”. Arrington says that unbearable pain was her inspiration to make a change, providing support for other parents grieving the loss of their children and teaching youth a way out of a dangerous lifestyle.
Just months after Steve’s death, Arrington launches the organization Mothers Against Teen Violence, eventually spreading her activism into community politics. Most recently being sworn in as the new Erie City Council President. “My life has went from tragedy to triumph, but it all adds up as my son being my inspiration. Everything that I do for other children, for other people, I do it because of my son.”
Arrington’s supporters say her actions should be an inspiration to other people facing hardship. Bishop Dwayne Brock, Sonya’s Friend, says, “Every person deals with a degree of disappointment, a degree of tragedy, but yet, we can follow her example and turn those tragedies into triumphs.”
Arrington tells us she hit the ground running eight years ago and she hasn’t stopped since. “It’s not without tears. It’s not without pain in my heart, but I’m here.”
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