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Class of 1982

Jimmy Cruz

When Jimmy Cruz started at Hostos, he was already a husband and a parent, so he knew how important it was to find a balance in his life. He learned how to prioritize his time and was able to successfully navigate the responsibilities of work, parenthood, and his studies. He found a job at Stony Brook Hospital soon after graduation, and he has remained with the hospital for 38 years. Jimmy was driven by his motivation to build a solid foundation for his family, and he is now seeing his efforts manifest as his three sons enter adulthood and are empowered to shape their own paths. 

The following is an excerpt of an interview with Mr. Cruz conducted by Alumni Relations Manager Félix Sánchez. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Q & A

Félix

What makes you feel proud to be a Hostos graduate?

Jimmy

I was the first in my family to graduate from college. I graduated with good grades from Hostos and, although it might be a small college, it has made a significant impact in this community. I'm very proud to be a part of this institution. 

Félix

What challenges did you experience while studying at Hostos and how did you overcome them? 

Jimmy

I had a family that I needed to support while I was attending Hostos. I was delivering papers at 3:30 in the morning, seven days a week and attended classes in the afternoon. After graduating, I still had to work two to three jobs at times to make ends meet. But I was taught that you do what is needed to support your family. That kept me motivated.

Félix

What experiences at Hostos helped prepare you to be successful?

Jimmy

It was important to me that I was acquiring skills that would lead to a satisfying career. My two years at Hostos showed me that what I was capable of learning and achieving. It certainly gave me a lot of confidence as I entered the professional world. 

Félix

What is your career now, and how did you end up in your current position? 

Jimmy

I am a senior technologist at Stony Brook University Medical Center. When I got into the field, I was like a sponge trying to soak up as much information as I could. I was given opportunities to learn new procedures, so I advanced quickly into special radiographic procedures. These experiences showed me that I could do whatever I put my mind to.

Félix

Who inspires you?

Jimmy

My dad for sure. My father really instilled a strong work ethic in me. He was the type of person who never took a day off and was always there when you needed him. It motivated me to do what is needed for my family. He did his best with what he had, and he stayed true to his word.

 

It has always been my goal to do whatever was needed for my family. I have three sons who are all in their early 20s; two of them are in college. I am very proud that all three of them are eagle scouts. I want to make sure that they're able to do whatever they choose, and that they can be successful in whatever they pursue. I want to keep supporting my kids so that they can provide for their futures and their families. They are feeling themselves out. They really don't have a specific focus on what they want to do yet, so I’m just trying to keep doors open for them.  

Félix

What advice would you give a current student to help them be successful?

Jimmy

Work hard, dedicate yourself to making the sacrifices that must be made. There will be many of them, but ultimately, what you do well today will make your future much better. You need to trust yourself; trust the ones you love. You must do the right thing even in the face of unfairness. I believe in karma. You must be able to look at yourself in the mirror and know that you did the best that you could.

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