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Sylvia Feliciano


Bold Points






Invest in Resilience. Invest in Change. Invest in Sylvia. My story isn't just about overcoming hardship; it's about harnessing it as fuel. Marine Corps Veteran. Suicide Survivor. But that's just the starting point. As a strategic advisor passionate about equity, I empower others to break down barriers and claim their own power. My entrepreneurial spirit is brimming with ideas to create positive change, and I believe the world needs more problem-solvers like me. Lifelong learning is my middle name. I'm a Certified Suicide and Crisis Intervention Specialist II, constantly seeking new ways to help others through their darkest moments. As a Global Citizen, I strive to build bridges across cultures and foster understanding. Proud Hispanic/Latina and First-Generation College Graduate, I embody resilience and the power of shattering glass ceilings. My mission: Create a world where everyone has access to the mental health resources they need to thrive. By investing in me, you invest in a future with empowered individuals, stronger communities, and a more hopeful world. #InvestInChange #VeteranEmpowerment #MentalHealthForAll


Walden University

Master's degree program
2024 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

Master's degree program
2011 - 2012
  • Majors:
    • Public Administration

Hofstra University

Bachelor's degree program
2003 - 2005
  • Majors:
    • Political Science and Government

Miami Dade College

Associate's degree program
2001 - 2003
  • Majors:
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Social Work
    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology
    • Behavioral Sciences
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

    • Founder/Owner

      Solace Mind
      2018 – Present6 years
    • Strategic Advisor 2

      City of Seattle Community Assisted Response and Engagement (CARE)
      2022 – 20231 year
    • Crisis Intervention Team Training Program Manager

      Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
      2023 – 20241 year



    2012 – 20164 years


    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other

      City of Seattle Community Assisted Response and Engagement (CARE) Department — Strategic Advisor 2
      2022 – 2023

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Rebuilding Together Seattle — Volunteer builder
      2012 – 2014
    • Advocacy

      Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Committee — Chair, Workshop Subcommittee
      2013 – 2014
    • Volunteering

      New York State Internal Control Association — Member/Board Member
      2007 – 2011
    • Advocacy

      NAACP — Centennial Celebration Committee Member, Chair of the VIP Subcommittee
      2013 – 2014
    • Volunteering

      King County Inter-local Conflict Resolution/City of Seattle Alternative Dispute Resolution — Mediator
      2013 – 2016
    • Volunteering

      Crisis Connections — Crisis Phone Worker
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Team Rubicon — Team Member
      2013 – Present

    Future Interests






    Lance Gillingham Memorial Scholarship
    Lance Gillingham's story resonates deeply. A Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War, his struggle with the aftereffects of Agent Orange exemplifies the silent battles many veterans face. His dedication to his country, despite the personal toll it took, reflects the very essence of what it means to be a Marine. My Marine Corps service and time in the military transformed me. It instilled in me the core values of integrity, resilience, and leadership. It taught me the importance of selfless service and the unwavering brotherhood forged in the crucible of shared experiences. But most importantly, it instilled in me a profound sense of pride in being American. Freedom isn't just a word; it's the very reason we put on the uniform, a reason worth defending with every ounce of our being. While I returned home from service physically unscathed, the tragedy of losing my son, a fellow Marine who battled PTSD and ultimately died by suicide, opened my eyes to the unseen wounds of our military service. Witnessing his struggle, the struggles of countless other veterans, and experiencing my own mental health struggles, awakened a deep sense of responsibility. We owe it to each other, to the memory of veterans like Lance Gillingham and my son, Joshua Giralde, and to those who carry the weight of their service, to ensure no one ever faces their darkest and most challenging moments struggle alone. This is why I'm applying for the Lance Gillingham Memorial Scholarship. My son's story, a stark reminder of the mental health challenges veterans face, fueled my unwavering commitment to supporting their well-being. He was an advocate for his mental health and reached out to his provider at the Veteran Affairs hospital to seek help. The day before he took his life behind his campus dorms, he was on the phone with the veteran crisis line for 36 minutes. The phone worker deemed him ok to hang up without a referral. There was no warm handoff or follow-up, and no mobile crisis team or crisis intervention team-trained officer were sent. He suffered alone and succumbed to his crisis. The anguishing thought of him suffering alone has ignited a burning desire in me to help others navigate the darkness of mental health struggles. As a former Marine Corps veteran myself, with another son who is also a former Marine, I know all too well the battle military veterans experience, especially if they have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. My ultimate goal is to become a licensed mental health counselor specializing in serving the veteran community. Through a combination of clinical practice and community engagement, I aim to bridge the gap between mental health services and those in need. To achieve my goals, I plan on pursuing a two-pronged approach. Firstly, I plan to become a licensed clinical mental health professional specializing in trauma-informed crisis response and intervention. This will equip me to provide direct care to those struggling with suicidal ideation and complex mental health challenges. Secondly, I aim to establish a non-profit organization that extends my existing practice, Solace Mind®. This non-profit will focus on partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and veteran and mental health coordinators on college campuses to provide crisis response and intervention services to veterans experiencing a mental health crisis on campus. By becoming a mental health counselor specializing in veterans' mental health, I can ensure that future generations of veterans receive the support they deserve. Their service and sacrifice deserve nothing less. This is my mission.
    Jean Ramirez Scholarship
    JOSHUA’S LIGHT The world lost a bright light this year. Joshua, my son, a former Marine grappling with PTSD, depression, and anxiety, died by suicide. He was a student at East State Tennessee University, a fighter for his own mental health, and tragically, a victim of an inadequate system. Joshua sought help, spending 36 agonizing minutes on the veteran crisis line before being deemed "okay." No follow-up, no warm handoff, no intervention – just him alone with his demons. Witnessing this failure ignited a burning desire in me, a former Marine myself, to ensure no veteran ever walks that path alone. My commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusivity has always fueled my interest in mental health. Seeing the stigma within my family, community, and the military amplifies my mission to break down barriers and make resources accessible. The devastating statistic of 22 veteran suicides a day demands action. I believe deeply in the transformative power of therapy, grief support, and holistic practices like yoga and mindfulness – tools to combat trauma and stress. Joshua's story ignited a fire within me. My passion lies in the powerful intersection of mental health, cultural competency, and dismantling the existing colonial lens in mental health care. My goal is twofold: become a licensed mental health counselor specializing in trauma-informed crisis intervention specifically for veterans, and establish Solace Mind®, a non-profit extension of my existing practice. Solace Mind® will bridge the gap between the VA, veterans' coordinators on college campuses, and those in crisis. My current experience as the Washington State CIT Program Manager, training first responders in crisis response, perfectly aligns with this vision. As a Crisis Intervention Specialist with extensive de-escalation and active listening skills, I'm dedicated to equipping responders with the latest suicide prevention tools. Our state-mandated training module, co-created with Dr. Jennifer Stuber and featuring my personal story, fosters empathy and understanding among responders. My dedication to continuous learning and adaptability extends beyond crisis response. Volunteering on crisis hotlines and teaching yoga and sound healing to diverse populations highlights this commitment. An impactful example is when teaching a disengaged group of youth, I pivoted my approach to incorporate their cultural background, transforming the experience. This emphasizes the importance of cultural competency in mental health care for all. As a woman of color, a Latina, and social justice activist, I see equity and inclusivity as cornerstones of effective therapy. My mission is to dismantle the stigma that prevents veterans and marginalized communities from seeking help. With a profound understanding of veteran challenges and the lived experience of loss, I am confident in my ability to make a difference through Walden University's Mental Health Counseling program. Through clinical practice and Solace Mind®, I will honor Joshua's legacy, keep his light burning, and ensure no veteran battles their demons alone. This is my journey; this is my mission, fueled by love and a desperate need for change.