Ethan Chichester

Ethan Chichester
Richmondville, NY
Professional Title
Community Engagement Lead at Silver Lining Marketing
Year of Graduation

Why Oneonta?


I chose SUNY Oneonta because I knew that my interests and initiatives would not go unnoticed. It turned out to be the best decision to guide me on the right path to my future. I actually started out as an Education major but switched to Geography.

A Day in the Life

At Silver Lining, I’m in a training program for executive management. We fundraise for nonprofit charities, specifically Second Harvest Food Bank and the United Breast Cancer Foundation. I'm excited and happy to be working with such an amazing firm and these nonprofits.

Best Experiences at Oneonta

I was involved with many clubs and activities. I worked with the Office of Student Success (OSS) as a Dragon Guide and Orientation Leader. In my free time, I was involved with the men's club volleyball team and the E-Board as well as with the intramurals department and staff. I also got to be cohost of "Out & About," a weekly video on the university's Instagram where myself and another person went around and asked students a new question each week.

One of my best and most memorable experiences was traveling to New Orleans in March of 2023 on a service-learning trip for the course Disaster Geographies with 11 other students, Associate Professor Wendy Lascell, and Linda Drake, from the Center for Social Responsibility and Community. We went to the Lower Ninth Ward and worked with a nonprofit organization called Common Ground Relief, trying to help restore and preserve Louisiana’s disappearing coastal wetlands by planting native plants and removing invasive species in coastal areas imperiled by hurricanes, development and engineering projects that have eroded land and endangered wildlife. This trip is what made me want to move to New Orleans and work with charities in some way, and now I am doing just that!

Another experience I have come to greatly appreciate was my employment with the Office of Student Success as a Dragon Guide. I really grew as a leader and as a person, formed a lot of connections and became prepared for life after college.

Ethan Move-In
Ethan Halloween

About My Major

I started out an Education major but soon learned that wasn't exactly the perfect path for me. When I switched majors, the Geography Department was incredibly supportive and helpful to me and a big part of the reason I am where I am today. I'm very grateful.

I am First-Generation

Ethan First Gen profile pic

What does being a first-generation college student mean to you?

To me, being a first-generation college student meant that I took control of my life and made independent decisions about my future. By being a first-generation college student, I learned life skills and fundamentals of life.

What obstacles did you face and overcome in this context?

Although there were many positive outcomes of being a first-generation student, it was not the easiest. I had little guidance and mentorship from family, which forced me to rely on other people during difficult times. Additionally, it was hard to balance choices that could have bettered or worsened my life. There was constant pressure to succeed.

What advice do you have for other first-generation students?

Continue on your own path of taking control of your life. Lead by example.

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