Ethan Garcia’s college search took some twists and turns before concluding swift and rather surprising fashion. The Huntington High School senior is headed to Syracuse University in the fall, although it wasn’t even on his radar when the process began.
“Syracuse was not originally a school that I intended on applying to,” Mr. Garcia said. “In fact, I knew very little to nothing about it when the college process began in my junior year. The first time that I heard it mentioned was at a college fair sponsored by the high school, where the representative of another college asked me what I intended to study. When I said journalism, he was quick to mention that Syracuse had a prestigious journalism program and thus my exploration into what Syracuse had to offer began.”
Mr. Garcia is a thoughtful young man and he knows that picking a college to attend and committing to it is an important decision, which can carry long-term ramifications.
Huntington High School senior Ethan Garcia.
“When I visited Syracuse for the first time, I was floored by how beautiful it was,” Mr. Garcia said. “The magnificent buildings seemed to mirror castles that came straight out of fantasy novels. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. I visited a few colleges prior, but this was the first one that had actually made a major impact on my outlook for college. The atmosphere at Syracuse; ranging from the students, to the campus, to the surrounding city, was everything I was looking for, making me know immediately that this was where I wanted to spend my college life. By imagining myself attending Syracuse, I was able to completely turn around any prior fears that I had about college.”
Applied as Early Decision candidate
Mr. Garcia decided to apply to Syracuse as an Early Decision candidate. “It’s something I know many seniors are skeptical of doing because of their fear of commitment to be somewhere for 4-plus years,” he said. “For me, however, I didn’t know where I could find myself except at Syracuse. I considered applying to Cornell University, Adelphi University and some schools outside of New York, though I knew that I wanted to be close to my family so that I would always have them nearby for constant support. It may sound a little reckless to some, but Syracuse was actually the only school I applied to. I wanted to go to this school so much that I did everything in my power to make known who I was and what I could do, whether that be through interviews, e-mails, etc.”
Mr. Garcia has been quite involved around Huntington High School over the past four years. His activities have ranged from the Key Club to the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. “Although I often found myself incredibly busy due to the strain of my academics, I would make sure to contribute the best I could to each cause,” he said. “Looking back, I definitely think I could have done much more for each and every club I participated in, though I am grateful to have had the chance to even participate in them.”
Blue Devil fencing team member
A member of Huntington’s fencing team since his sophomore year, Mr. Garcia thoroughly enjoyed the Blue Devil athletic experience. “This was actually the first sports team that I ever joined in my life, due to always telling myself that I didn’t have the potential to be an athlete,” he said. “However, after joining this amazing team and continuing on through the rest of my high school years, I developed skills and friendships that will last me a lifetime. I couldn’t be happier that I made the choice to step out of my boundaries three years ago.”
Mr. Garcia’s senior year academic schedule includes classes in Advanced Placement US Government and Politics, AP Calculus AB, AP English Literature and Composition and AP Spanish Language and Culture. “I had originally taken up the AP Economics classes as well, but found that they did not interest me very much,” he said. “Since I’m not a science buff, I enrolled in Regents Physics to not only learn something new, but relieve the stress I may have had from my other classes.”
The teenager was recently recognized as a Distinguished Senior along with classmates who had also earned a minimum average of 90 during every semester of high school. “It’s an honor that I will hold close to my heart throughout my life,” Mr. Garcia said.
Plans to pursue journalism career
The Huntington senior is open to “any opportunities that may lie ahead,” but he is really looking forward to a career in journalism, “whether that be on TV, behind a screen or on paper,” Mr. Garcia said. “My writing skills have been critically acclaimed by numerous students and teachers, though I hope that my education at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University will enable me to broaden my horizons through not just my writing, but speaking as well. I very much enjoy public speaking, so I hope that maybe I can further that passion in college as well.”
Looking back over the past four years, Mr. Garcia feels good about the relationships he has developed with Huntington High School faculty members and fortunate to have been guided by many of them.
“Right off the bat, I have to mention Mr. [Robert] Gilmor,” Mr. Garcia said. “I’ve been through so much here at Huntington High School, both good and bad; whether that be with friends, schoolwork or situations at home, but he was always right there for me whenever I needed anything. One moment in particular was when my father had a stroke in February of 2017. This was a time where I thought I was all alone and that the world had nothing for me except pain and agony as I had just had a falling out with my friends and school had definitely taken its toll on me. Now, I had to worry about whether my dad would survive each and every second of the day on top of all of my other issues. But, thanks to Mr. Gilmor, I was not alone. Although I found myself in his office quite a lot, he was able to help me with the heavy burden that I held on my shoulders, as well as trying to push through what had struck my family without notice. With his unparalleled assistance, I kept myself as optimistic as I could have at that time and luckily my dad is still with us to this day and doing very well.”
Mr. Garcia also cited Deborah Beck, Lauren Desiderio, Lorena Hickey and Joseph Cohen “and numerous other teachers for assisting me throughout my grueling high school years, as they were always there to let me vent and help me through hefty workloads that may have been obstacles in my education,” he said. “They were always there for extra help any day of the week, though if you ask them, I’m sure they’ll tell you how much I need to stop stressing!”
The teenager is ready to move on with his life, but he will always remember where he came from. “Whatever I may be offered in the future, I will be sure to look back on my education at not only Syracuse, but Huntington High School as well and thank it for allowing me to progress through life,” Mr. Garcia said.