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Community Spotlight: Eric Geller '93

Eric Geller '93

Marvelwood Community Spotlight

We are always proud of the experiences of our pterodactyls. Our Community Spotlight features the stories of alumni and community members after their time at Marvelwood. To submit your story or nominate a Marvelwood graduate, email

Eric Geller ‘93 spent his time at Marvelwood learning about himself and developing his creativity through storytelling, and his love for the game Dungeons and Dragons. Upon graduation, Eric tried DJing in New York City. Now, Geller works at OnPoint NYC, a harm reduction center for marginalized communities who experience drug abuse, advising clients on how to reach their goals throughout recovery. Geller also continues to run his own adult Dungeons and Dragons campaign as Dungeon Master every week.

What was your Marvelwood experience like?

"I spent my sophomore through senior year at Marvelwood. My parents' greatest decision was to send my twin and myself to boarding school.

Marvelwood allowed me to reinvent myself. I struggled throughout my entire public school academically, and my parents found it hard to accept some of my learning challenges.

When I started at Marvelwood, I was an anxious kid and because of my asthma, I required medications. I always needed to be close to the nurses office. Marvelwood mandates a sport or extracurricular to engage in after classes every semester, plus community service on Wednesdays. I went into Marvelwood as someone who didn’t think of themselves as an athlete, but I was really proud to make the varsity squad in lacrosse by senior year!

For my community service, I helped an elderly couple with work on their farm. After my farm experience, I felt more comfortable around seniors and during my junior year, I volunteered at a retirement home.

One thing Marvelwood taught me was to never give up on my imagination. I was an imaginative kid and I was safe to express that without being ridiculed. Marvelwood always encouraged my creativity. We had an Arts magazine that students filled with short stories, drawings, or submitted pictures. It was nice to have a creative outlet to share our work. I wish I had kept copies of those magazines!

Marvelwood has a drama club too, and I tried my darndest to get cast in anything other than the ensemble. I really loved when we would have talent shows as I would always get a laugh lip-syncing along to any song I could. It was a release for me. That experience on stage probably played a role in my pursuit of becoming a DJ. Curating music for a crowd was really an intense way to connect with other people. I found that I really had a love of performing. Now, every Sunday I go to Stella Adler Studio of Acting for an improvisational class in Theatre Arts. We perform every six to nine months off-Broadway, for two nights with the work and material we created ourselves. It’s an outreach program. They perform in local jails with materials that the inmates have written. They work a lot with veterans and recovery treatment centers as well, to give people who may not have been exposed to theater, an opportunity to perform.

At Marvelwood, I also created a Dungeons and Dragons group. I’ll never forget my rivalry with Glenn Sanchez. We really got into it and some kids dressed in game regalia. Games would last for hours.

D&D taught me to be a strong storyteller and communicator. I started a legitimate, critical role-style long-term campaign with a lot of lore here in New York, and I’m successfully into my second year of eighty-eight sessions, with the same people. I like to ensure my games are filled with creativity and imagination so you never know where the game will take you when I’m in charge.

What have you accomplished since graduating from Marvelwood?

When I graduated, I became a DJ working at The Limelight in New York City.

I met a wide variety of people that were finding themselves–in good ways and bad. It was a fun experience, but it wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it was at the time. I made a lot of unhealthy choices, and I ended up off the grid for a few years. During that tough time, my brother encouraged me to seek help for addiction.

And full circle, that’s the community I proudly work with today. I’m about to get my fifth-year anniversary pin as an employee. I am getting closer to fifty, still in the living and learning phase, and I never want to stop. I’m actually in the process of re-enrolling in school to finish a degree in social work, furthering my career.

Can you elaborate on what your job is?

I work at a non-profit agency called OnPoint NYC. We are a federal agency that works to prevent substance and alcohol abuse. We have an overdose prevention facility on site - one of only two in the United States - where people can consume narcotics supervised by trained professionals. Clients are given clean equipment to reduce transmission of bloodborne pathogen diseases and educated on overdose responses and reversal.

Our OD center is one of two in America and the only one in NYC. We are leaders in the front line of drug abuse prevention. We are assisting in writing the roadmap for other non-profits in the U.S. and globally so they can open similar facilities. In my five years here, we haven’t lost one life.

At OnPoint NYC, I am a buprenorphine case manager. I specifically work with clients in recovery, supporting them as they work towards reaching their personal goals."

Thanks for sharing with us, Eric! We can't wait to hear what you do next!