Barrier Breaker   

In 2014, Loymi Peralta Cruz, FOX ’22, moved with her family from Puerto Plata, a small city in the Dominican Republic, to Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, a suburb outside of Philadelphia. She was 18 years old and didn’t speak a word of English, but that didn’t stand in the way of her ambition.   

Loymi Peralta Cruz sitting on a couch with a laptop facing her.
Photo credit: Joseph V. Labolito

Booting up

She started taking English classes at Montgomery County Community College, where she learned that the college has a transfer partnership with Temple’s Fox School of Business. It didn’t take long for her to set her sights on the business school.

“I come from a family that owns businesses, my father owns corner stores in the Philadelphia area,” Cruz said. “So, understanding how business works has always been a big part of my day-to-day life growing up.”

Network connections

After earning her associate’s degree, she transferred to Temple in 2019 as a commuting student. Though she says the transition was “overwhelming,” she quickly connected with professors and student organizations that helped her find her footing.

Classes like Business Communication and Risk Management exposed her to different sides of business education, and networking and professional workshops strengthened her confidence and business acumen. She joined Temple’s chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), which had a positive impact on her career readiness as well.

“I found people like me there, people from other countries and other transfer students,” Cruz said. “It was a big factor in helping me find a sense of community.”

In just two years, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

“Something that really stood out for me at Fox is that the faculty understands that students might be working, and there is a lot of flexibility within the class schedule,” Cruz said. “That was really helpful for me because I was always working!”

Loymi at a Glance

High-speed solutions

One of Cruz’s revelations at Fox was understanding that harnessing a variety of technology can help businesses run more efficiently. She’s been able to apply that knowledge at her first job as a technology architect analyst at Accenture, an IT firm in Philadelphia. She’s part of a team that delivers technology innovation to clients, like transferring large amounts of physical data to the cloud. She enjoys the work and the perspective it provides on just how connected businesses are to the functions of society.

She’s also deeply involved with the Philadelphia ALPFA chapter and counts its president, Elvita Quiñones, a former advisor at Fox, as one of her most supportive mentors. Cruz is now part of the executive board and says that it is important for her to give back by helping younger women, Latinx people and others from underrepresented communities make connections in the business world.

“If I can help one person, one younger Loymi, get through what I went through, I’m happy,” she said. “I just want to be able to help others to achieve what I have achieved.”