HomeNewsLocal grad found a home at Manor

Local grad found a home at Manor

Keith Donofrio and family

Keith Donofrio, of Academy Gardens, graduated last week from Manor College and can’t say enough good things about his alma mater.

Donofrio, who attended New Foundations Charter School from kindergarten through 12th grade, was part of the class of 2020 that never really got to enjoy the final few months of their high school years due to the coronavirus.

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Donofrio made the most of his time at Manor, located in Jenkintown, playing three years of soccer, spending a semester as part of the Disney College Program and graduating with a 3.98 grade point average and a degree in business analytics.

“I’m just thankful for everything,” he said.

Donofrio, 21, is back at Disney World, working until early August before he returns home to work as an area manager for Amazon, where he’ll be based in Trenton.

As part of the Disney College Program, he works mostly at Hollywood Studios. He’s done some cooking and handles food and beverage stocking and inventory and analytics for the bar.

Overall, he’s enjoyed his five months at Disney, meeting friends from places like England, Canada and Australia working at Epcot.

“I carried that Manor value system,” he said.

Once he returns and begins working for Amazon, he plans to enroll in graduate school at LSU, taking online courses as he pursues an MBA with a concentration in business analytics. He’ll be in a fast-paced, accelerated program and will have that MBA in a year.

Donofrio believes his experience at Manor will benefit him in his future studies and professional career. He thinks Manor’s motto of “You Belong Here” is appropriate.

“Manor really works with you,” he said. “It’s such a cool place to be. It’s a small school, but you learn everything you’re supposed to. If you need help, you can find help at Manor. Every core principle of Manor goes back to, ‘You Belong Here.’ “

Donofrio said Manor offers a fresh start for everyone, from people who enroll there right after high school graduation to others who delay their college studies for one reason or another. He enjoyed being a part of a school where the students and teachers come from different backgrounds.

He also liked the nice people he’d see in Manny’s Market and the family atmosphere among everyone, “from the lunch ladies to President Peri.” The soccer team – with teammates like Gabe Elliott and Eddie Fortescue – had a particularly close bond, he said.

Donofrio singled out athletic director and soccer coach John Dempster and business teacher Mary Sims as having an especially big influence on him. And he’s been given some valuable advice from alumni.

While Donofrio’s future includes Disney, Amazon and online grad school at LSU, he can see himself returning to Manor as a teacher down the line, giving back to a school that has helped put him on a path to success.

“Manor opened up so many doors for me,” he said. ••

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