by Lisa Johnson | MAT Business Education Instructor

Joshua VanValkenburg | First Catch! The first amazing catch, with his father, at age 13.  Caught on a fluke and weighed in at 5 lbs.  Public pond in Cumberland County, N.C.

Joshua VanValkenburg | First Catch! The first amazing catch, with his father, at age 13. Caught on a fluke and weighed in at 5 lbs. Public pond in Cumberland County, N.C.

As a teacher, I love hearing about my student’s aspirations and goals.  When I first met Joshua, the first thing I learned is this young man loves to fish.  However, at that time, I had no clue this young man already possessed a God given talent-Bass fishing.

Joshua VanValkenburg | Another! Caught this one on a black and blue jig in a private pond located in Bladen County, N.C., 2014.

Joshua VanValkenburg | Another! Caught this one on a black and blue jig in a private pond located in Bladen County, N.C., 2014.

With his parents’ permission, I felt the desire to send this in so others could see for themselves the talent this young man carries.  His self-learning abilities, skills, and knowledge inclusive of his ability to produce and catch with homemade lures have simply amazed me.  Even more, I am impressed and admire his continuous choice of always exercising “catch and release”.

Joshua VanValkenburg | Other Catches

Joshua VanValkenburg | Other Catches

With his passion in mind and upon completing high school in 2016, Joshua has a goal to attend college in pursuit of a degree in Wildlife Management.

Joshua VanValkenburg | Whoa! This beauty caught in a private pond located in Cumberland County, N.C. on June 15, 2015.  Weighed in at 7.8 lbs.

Joshua VanValkenburg | Whoa! This beauty caught in a private pond located in Cumberland County, N.C. on June 15, 2015. Weighed in at 7.8 lbs.

I feel truly blessed to have met him and I would love nothing more than for him to be recognized for his talents in some way. Words simply cannot express how deeply proud I am of him and admire his abilities and talents as a young person today.  His hobbies are inspiring his other classmates and friends to join in on the sport of fishing and fun.

Joshua VanValkenburg | Other Catches

Joshua VanValkenburg | Other Catches

When I asked Joshua VanValkenburg what his favorite fishing quote is, he sent me this: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Maimonides

Joshua VanValkenburg | Two Friends, Two Fish Fishing with a friend, caught these on a black and blue crawdad bait and Senko in a private pond located in Bladen County, N.C., 2015.

Joshua VanValkenburg | Two Friends, Two Fish
Fishing with a friend, caught these on a black and blue crawdad bait and Senko in a private pond located in Bladen County, N.C., 2015.

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