People in your neighborhood: Area man intent on giving local students a helping hand

By Brigid Edmunds - [email protected]
Robert Fumanti works on matching tutors with students at the kitchen table in his parents’ Exeter home. Fumanti runs Academy Tutoring. -
Robert Fumanti realized he wanted to help students in the area after teaching at a school in Philadelphia. -
Robert Fumanti works on matching tutors with students. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader -
Robert Fumanti works on matching tutors with students. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader - -

EXETER — Rob Fumanti has traveled the world.

But he now finds himself running a company out of his childhood home, trying to give students in Northeastern Pennsylvania a helping hand.

Fumanti, 43, is the CEO of Academy Tutoring, a local company specializing in SAT/ACT prep, college admission help and individualized tutoring services.

After graduating from Wyoming Area in 1992, Fumanti went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., fulfilling his wish both to travel the world and serve his country as an aerospace engineer.

“I really wanted to do some good and serve the county,” Fumanti said.

When he got out the Navy, he worked a few different jobs, including working at Lockheed Martin, first in Archbald as an engineer and then in a corporate position in Maryland.

After working in the corporate world, Fumanti realized it wasn’t for him and decided to do something where he could help children.

“I realized I wanted to do something where I was helping people,” he said.

He went back to school to get his teaching certificate and ended up getting his MBA from the University of Chicago. From there, Fumanti started teaching chemistry at Julia R. Masterman School in Philadelphia. The school is a magnet school, accepting students from areas of Philadelphia based on academic performance in grades five through 12.

“It was a challenge,” Fumanti said of working in such a large school district in a big city. “Luckily, my leadership experience enabled me to do the job.”

It was an “eye-opening” experience, he added.

After two years teaching in Philadelphia, Fumanti moved back to the area and started Academy Tutoring in 2007.

He said he was inspired by his work and alma maters — the Naval Academy and the University of Chicago.

“I noticed there was no one from NEPA at these schools,” he said. “NEPA was so under represented.”

He wanted students from Northeastern Pennsylvania to be able to attend top colleges across the country.

“One of my missions in starting this was to give kids from NEPA a chance,” he said.

Academy Tutoring started with three tutors, offering SAT prep, and Fumanti started building the business.

The company has grown to more than 60 tutors, offering help in all academic areas from kindergarten through high school. They also offer SAT/ACT prep, as well as college admissions counseling.

Fumanti said he was able to come home and use his skills to help the area, noting that there are now students from the region in all the Ivy League schools and the military academies.

Academy Tutoring has also helped local students earn over $3 million in scholarships.

The business is also a family affair.

Fumanti works a lot out of his parents’ home in Exeter, which is equipped with an office for Fumanti. His wife, Jennifer, is the director of operations for Academy Tutoring. He and his wife have two children.

Above all, Fumanti said he wants to not only help students in the area, but also change the stigma around tutoring and academic counseling.

“Our mission is to help kids reach their full potential,” he said.

Robert Fumanti works on matching tutors with students at the kitchen table in his parents’ Exeter home. Fumanti runs Academy Tutoring.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_TTL100617Tutor1-1.jpgRobert Fumanti works on matching tutors with students at the kitchen table in his parents’ Exeter home. Fumanti runs Academy Tutoring.

Robert Fumanti realized he wanted to help students in the area after teaching at a school in Philadelphia.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_TTL100617Tutor2-1.jpgRobert Fumanti realized he wanted to help students in the area after teaching at a school in Philadelphia.

Robert Fumanti works on matching tutors with students. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_TTL100617Tutor1CMYK-1.jpgRobert Fumanti works on matching tutors with students. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Robert Fumanti works on matching tutors with students. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_TTL100617Tutor2CMYK-1.jpgRobert Fumanti works on matching tutors with students. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By Brigid Edmunds

[email protected]

About this series: People in Your Neighborhood is an occasional feature that will profile local residents with an interesting story to tell. Tosuggest someone to be featured, contact staff writer Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6113 or [email protected] timesleader.com.

Reach Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds

Reach Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds