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Student mother of four says hard pregnancies and numerous responsibilities didn’t stop her from graduating

Battulga stands wearing a blue dress and black graduation cap and gown with two roads and grass behind her.

Janlavtsogzol Battulga said her and her husband’s determination to take responsibility for their lives motivated them to fulfill their obligations as parents, students, employees and club presidents. She expressed gratitude for her BYU–Hawaii education and everyone who helped them along the way.

A dream come true

Battulga, a senior from Mongolia majoring in accounting, is graduating magna cum laude in April 2021. She said graduating from BYUH had been a dream of hers since she joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when she was 16 years old.

“My parents are middle-class workers, so studying abroad was financially impossible for me. But when I heard about the IWORK scholarship, it gave me hope. I started to prepare myself by learning English and taking BYUH online classes.”

Battulga came to BYUH in Fall 2016 with her husband. Working part time and studying full time with four children was not easy, she said. “There were many nights that we looked at each other and cried, prayed, despaired and exhorted together until we came this far.”

Odgerel Ochirjav, Battulga’s former stake president, said she is a diligent and positive person. “She just goes and gets whatever she wants. She is very persistent with her goals. Having four children while studying abroad in a second language is a great success. I have no doubt that she will do great things in future.”

Refined by hardships

Battulga said all of her pregnancies were extremely difficult, sharing many of her difficulties were especially bad within the first four months. “I couldn’t eat at all and threw up all the time,” she explained.

Despite those challenges, she said she and her husband have never skipped any homework or submitted late work. She said they knew this was the life they chose, so they had to be responsible. “No one else has responsibility for us. This mindset encouraged and sharpened us to be strong.”

Elizabeth Ramsey, a BYUH alumna and special instructor in the Faculty of Business & Government, said Battulga was her classmate. Ramsey said, “She is a genuine friend and we were study buddies. Every encounter with her is a special memory.”

Ramsey said she too had a complicated pregnancy and that Battulga was a source of support and encouragement. Ramsey shared, “Being a mom herself, she shared with me her experiences that helped me look forward to the role of motherhood.”

Battulga said every night she and her husband would sit together and plan out the next day. “If we don’t plan, the next day is a disaster. When I look back, my husband was the biggest part of my success. I doubt any other man can bear this much load. He is my superhero,” she commented.

Her husband, Tulga Enkhbold, an alumnus who graduated in June of 2020 and majored in accounting, said, “My wife does not know about quitting or giving up. She never ceases to learn and always begins something with the end in mind. I am really proud of her accomplishments.”

Ramsey shared an experience she had with Battulga. “We were both stressed trying to study for one of our exams. Although there was still so much to study, she told me she had to leave because her husband must be tired of watching their kids and she had to go grab some food to take to him.

“Even when she had so much on her plate, she chose to forget it and serve others, specifically her husband. I’m grateful for her Christlike example,” Ramsey shared. “Every time I get a chance to chat with her, I always feel good and uplifted afterwards.”

Besides her classes and family obligations, Battulga said she works hard to fulfill her IWORK promise. To do that, she said she works several student jobs, one being the accounting junior clerk at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s business department.

She and her husband also served as presidents of the BYUH Mongolian Club.

Supported by the community

Battulga stands in the center with four other women on each side behind her in a V formation wearing traditional Mongolian dresses of blue, green, pink and orange.
Battulga (in the middle) and other Mongolian students wearing colorful Mongolian dresses.

Battulga said managing everything seemed impossible sometimes, but God was always watching over them. She said she couldn’t imagine college life without her friends, the TVA community and ward members who were always there for them when they needed help.

She said she is grateful for well-prepared professors whose examples helped her feel the Spirit during their lessons. Battulga added she will be forever grateful for IWORK donors.

“IWORK donors are the people who made my dreams come true and blessed me and my children’s future. I am eternally grateful for their hard work and generosity. I promise that I will utilize everything I have learned at BYUH,” she expressed.

Battulga advised students to not be idle and to make every moment count. “Try your best to absorb as much knowledge and skill as you can and attend every event organized by the school and the student clubs. It will help you to expand your friends’ circle and network with international people.”

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