Sonya Goes Ahead, 25

Elementary Education, MSUB

Pryor, Montana


Sonya student teaching


April 7, 2017


By Blair Koch, University Relations and Communications, 657-2269


She didn’t set out to be a role model, but along the way Sonya Goes Ahead has become one.


The 25-year-old will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Montana State University Billings in May.


She’s been wrapping up her degree student teaching 22 fifth graders at Newman Elementary School on Billings’ south side.


Even though Goes Ahead earned an associate degree in Information Systems from Little Big Horn College, teaching is her passion.


“I know a lot of people say this, but I really like children and I was inspired by auntie, she’s a teacher. I was also inspired by some of my teachers and instructors at college, they helped me see that this is what I wanted to do,” she said.


Sonya-MMA fighterAfter attending college on the Crow Agency (she is a member of both the Crow and Cheyenne Tribes) Goes Ahead considered a career in accounting but dreaded the thought of being cooped up in an office all day.


“I didn’t feel like I would be effective as a person being isolated in an office,” she said. “The kids make the days fun.”


With her career plans set, Goes Ahead set her sights on coming back to school, and enrolled at MSU Billings in 2015.


As her time at university ends, she is excited to play an important role in this weekend’s 49th Annual MSUB Powwow as the Women Head Dancer.


She will participate in the Powwow’s opening Grand Entry, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday in Alterowitz Gym. Over the weekend, she will also host a women’s ‘special.’


“This is a Crow style women’s dance. The participants compete for a prize. I did fundraising for it and will get judges, I like the effort dancers put in to it,” she said.


Goes Ahead will don her traditional elk tooth dress for the Grand Entry and is taking pride in being someone the younger generation of Native Americans can look up to.


“This powwow is very important to me, especially as it’s my last year at MSUB. I want to show in a way how grateful I am to be graduating and be representing my community,” she said. 


Sonya in the classroom teaching