Detail image of Gisela Nelson for October 2022 WSYS advertorial.

Turning Dreamers Into Achievers

By Diane R. Paylor | Photo by Kylene White
Sponsored by: New Legacy | 1115 Garvin Place, Louisville KY 40203 | Phone: (502) 276-0660 | | Website:

On her position as Executive Director of The New Legacy Reentry Corporation, the faith-based community organization helping the formerly incarcerated with job training and life skills, Gisela Nelson jokes and says she is the “chief cook and bottle washer.” Her sense of humor notwithstanding, she and her husband created the organization to reduce recidivism for those transitioning out of jail or prison. “We felt like we needed to help them navigate back into society with more tools and more abilities,” the Louisville native says. With training schools that include construction and the culinary arts, Gisela says one of the most important things New Legacy offers is the ability to help ex-offenders dream again. “I ask them, if your record wasn’t an issue what would you do?” Most of them, she explains, get stumped because no one has ever asked them. But the blessing of Gisela and the New Legacy team is that with their love, compassion and dedication each returning citizen who comes through their doors eventually figures out the answer.

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