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Westport Man Earns Degree for his Children

One reason Onofrio Patafio went back to school as an adult was to set an example for his kids. “I have two children at home and wanted to make sure they would go to school and they could say, ‘Dad got an education. I should, too,'" said the Westport resident.

In 2010, Patafio graduated from the University of Bridgeport’s IDEAL Program , (an accelerated adult program) where he learned how to manage his time, communicate and problem solve — skills he brings to work as a project manager for Attain Fertility Centers in Purchase, N.Y.

Patafio said he also applies the concepts he learned in his math classes at the University of Bridgeport to find solutions for real-life situations on the job.

“When you go to school later in life, you’re doing it because you want to. It made me look at school differently than I had when I was younger.”

The IDEAL program at the University of Bridgeport allowed Patafio the flexibility to work during the day as a consultant for KPMG, get an education at night and spend time with his children. After he graduated and started looking for a new job, having a diploma gave him more confidence on interviews.

“If there are three people to choose from during the interview process and you’re the runner up, you wonder, ‘Would it have made a difference if I had a degree?'” he said.

Patafio says he now hopes to be seen as a role model for his co-workers as well as his own children. In the future, he plans to earn a master’s degree in business.

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