Founder and CEO
Felecia Pullen lives her life in addiction and her journey in recovery out loud. After a 30 year career in advertising, she surrendered and admitted that she was in active addiction for decades. In 2012, One year after in-patient rehab and out-patient counseling, she entered the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University where, after completing her Masters, she is now pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Social Work Policy.
As a licensed social worker, Felecia specializes in substance use disorders, prevention, and addiction recovery supports. Her work focuses on community-based approaches to poverty alleviation, the reduction of recidivism, and the development of social equity. Her belief is that through multi-tiered initiatives, we can reduce active addiction, and promote healthier communities.
While in the masters program, Felecia founded and is the President of Let’s Talk SAFETY, Inc., a not-for-profit which includes SAFE in Harlem, a teen-led coalition, designed to prevent teens and youth from drug and alcohol consumption; and The PILLARS, Manhattan’s first OASAS-funded Recovery Community & Outreach Center. It offers holistic approaches for individuals in recovery, and for family members loving someone in active addiction.
Felecia’s advocacy and activism has led her to be recognized by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a luminary in her field. She was recently appointed to a NYC substance abuse and mental health subcommittee. Alongside other leaders in the field of addiction, recovery, and mental health, she hopes to inform policies to reverse the stigma of addiction and mental illness, while advancing a healthier New York City.
BSW Intern and Community Engagement Specialist
Miranda Cazin is currently in pursuit of her BSW at Silberman School of Social Work, and leads the community engagement arm of The PILLARS. She handles external communications with our network of partners and creates content for our monthly Connections newsletter and social media. Outside of The PILLARS, Miranda is passionate about growing awareness around sexual exploitation and trafficking. She desires to empower women to live in full freedom and to help others do the same, making a difference for generations to come.
BSW Intern and Health & Wellness Specialist
Shannon Blanch is currently pursuing a BSW at Silberman School of Social Work. She spearheads the health and wellness program at The PILLARS. Including managing all the classes that occur each month and organizing special events. She also handles outreach to other agencies in the city. She will be pursuing her LMSW and hopes to empower young adults within the Child Welfare system.
Devon Stewart teaches the Mindfulness Yoga class here at The PILLARS. Devon Stewart is a yoga instructor and reproductive health doula. A 10-year practitioner of yoga, Devon has extensive training in therapeutic yoga modalities, with a focus on: trauma-aware, gender-responsive and culturally competent yoga and inclusive yoga instruction. In addition to Pillars, she teaches at the only transitional juvenile facility for teenage girls in New York City, and is a National Affiliate of the Art of Yoga Project. She is certified in Therapeutic, Restorative, and Trauma-Informed (including Prenatal) yoga. Devon is passionate about holistic wellness and healing with an emphasis in understanding the neurology of the mind-body connection for the purpose of self-care and transcendental rehabilitation. Devon's background is rooted in gender, sexuality studies and women's empowerment, with a B.A. in women's and gender studies from Barnard College of Columbia University. (www.devonstewartyoga.com)
George Plaskett is the acupuncturists at The PILLARS and is here five times a week. He practices 5-point ear therapy to assist recipients’ with stress, anxiety and cravings. He is a Bronx, NY born veteran of the U.S. Navy and he has practiced the model of harm reduction service delivery since 1998. He first experienced ear therapy when he was a teenager. George volunteered at New York Harm Reduction Educators for a year and then was promoted to peer education coordinator in 2000. He received his certification as a mental health peer mentor at The Westchester Empowerment Center in 2012.
Nicole Troche is one of our yoga and mindfulness instructors here at The PILLARS. She has been practicing yoga around the world since 2014. After becoming ill her senior year of high school, she decided to take her health into her own hands, finding holistic ways to heal and eventually leading her to the path of yoga. In 2017 she became certified to teach at Yoga to the People, a donation based studio throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn focused on bringing yoga to all walks of life. Throughout her young life, Nicole has found the reward in practicing Karma yoga; the act of selflessness and service to others. She believes the work we do is how we express our love for others and the world we live in.
Tai Chi & Qigong Instructor
Mr. Wong teaches our Tai Chi and Qigong classes here at The PILLARS. He has been practicing Tai Chi since 1988. He enjoys practicing these martial arts because they are good for ones health. The classes can also help restore ones energy, or qi. His classes consist of a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. Mr. Wong finds that playing calming music during his classes improves the level of comfort and increasing the sense of calm.
DV Prevention Instructor
Sherneice Gatewood facilitates the domestic violence prevention class here at The PILLARS. She received her Bachelors of Human Services in 2010 and not long after, she started her own non-profit organization. We Are Phenomenal Women Inc. (W.A.P.W) was founded in 2015. As a domestic violence survivor Sherneice had a burning desire to support other women in similar situations as she had endured. Her class focuses on education, empowerment, and awareness. She believes that it is up to all of us to become involved in the efforts to stop domestic violence in our communities. That we must become one voice in the fight against domestic violence. (https://www.wearephenomenalwomen.com/)
Carol J. Hunt is the instructor for the meditation class here at The PILLARS. She retired from the field of gerontology after more than 30 years as an executive director for a not-for-profit organization in Queens. From 2001-2011 she led a Unity Study Group in Harlem and before she was a Unity Licensed Teacher at Unity Center. Carol graduated from Unity World Wide Ministries and was ordained as a Unity Minister in 2016.
Mixed Martial Movement Instructor
Clyde is the instructor for the Mixed Martial Movement class here at The PILLARS. His class helps individuals to help themselves through movement. He has been practicing MMM for over 15 years. He enjoys this practice because it helps him practice balance in his life. Outside of The PILLARS Clyde walks in the parks and converses with his friends.