Martinez in her Adelphi cap and gown, holding her son, Kairo.
Janary Mojica Martinez ’23 completed her bachelor's degree last spring while pregnant with her son, Kairo. Not skipping a beat, she started in Adelphi's MBA program this fall.

Becoming a mother while enrolled in the undergraduate accounting program at the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business did not slow this Adelphi student down. In fact, she continued right through to graduate studies and is now working toward an MBA. Meet Janary Mojica Martinez ’23 and her baby Kairo, and see how the School of Business has supported her inspiring academic journey.

Janary Mojica Martinez ’23 is one of those women who appears to be able to do it all.

She got her undergraduate degree at Adelphi in accounting while pregnant and working part time to help with school expenses. Now she’s working toward her MBA while raising her 1-year-old son, Kairo.

Martinez achieved her dreams with the support of her partner, Milton, and her parents—and with exceptional help from her professors at Adelphi’s Robert B. Willumstad School of Business.

Adelphi makes it its business to help students like Martinez. It’s highlighted in the University’s Momentum 2 strategic plan, which prioritizes widened access to an Adelphi education and strong support for student success. It’s an innovative approach to higher education that helps students like Martinez find academic success and make a better life for themselves and their families.

A Baby and a BBA

Martinez became pregnant in the fall of her senior year at Adelphi, and she was worried she would not be able to graduate on time. “I knew from the beginning that I never wanted to take a break from school to have my baby because it’s very hard to get back on track once you interrupt your studies,” Martinez said. “I knew that, some way, I was going to manage to pull it off. I just needed the right resources and some help.”

She spoke with her professors to ask for advice and help. “They were very helpful and encouraged me to stay in school,” she explained. One faculty member led the charge in helping Martinez stay in school—Grace Conway, associate professor in the Willumstad School accounting and law department. Conway contacted Martinez’s professors to arrange for them to let her take some classes online and do independent studies. “That made it a lot easier for me to rest and focus on growing my baby while maintaining my focus on school,” Martinez said.

“Janary did not miss a beat in our program,” said MaryAnne Hyland, PhD, dean of the the School of Business.

Professors Helped Her Succeed

Martinez attended in-person classes for the fall semester, early in her pregnancy. “Even those professors worked with me,” she said. By the spring semester, she was able to switch to the remote plan Conway had helped her arrange. She even took one class early, with the help of Felisha N. Fret, assistant professor in the accounting and law department, so she would be finished with her undergrad classwork by the time she gave birth to Kairo in April 2023—just before finals.

“A lot of my teachers gave me my finals early so I could get them out of the way,” Martinez said. “I was like, ‘I can definitely do that,’ but I was sleeping just two or three hours a night by that point. One test was on a timer and, I kid you not, I was falling asleep. I literally could not keep my eyes open.”

Martinez finished the test, finished the class, had her baby and got her degree. She took the summer off and was back at Adelphi in the fall of 2023 to begin work on her MBA. She quit the job at a home improvement store she had held down while an undergrad so she could focus on Kairo and her studies. “I tried to keep working at the store but, honestly, I couldn’t do it,” she said.

MBA Next December, CPA on the Horizon

Martinez will get her MBA in December 2024. “That’s a semester ahead,” she said as she beamed.

Martinez credits her parents for helping her finish her undergrad degree and continue straight through to get her MBA, too. “I’m the first generation in my household to ever graduate college, and my parents contributed a lot in that they always pushed me,” Martinez said. “They’ve been big supporters, and when I walk across that stage and get that MBA, I’ll be graduating for and with them as well.”

Martinez wants to be a CPA. She did an internship her junior year at a small CPA firm and liked working on taxes.

She also wants to be a role model and provider for her son, Kairo. “I want to be the kind of mother he’s proud of speaking about,” she said. “I want him to be able to say, ‘My mom went through this and did this while she was pregnant with me. She stayed in school, and she got her degree.’ I want to be an inspiration and an example for him in the future.”

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