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Passion

"If you haven't been recruited yet, let me be the first.” Seventeen-year-old, Walker Goodwin, stared at the words -- written by a University of Nebraska recruiter -- in disbelief. The junior at Newton Community High School had, of course, considered which colleges he might attend after graduation, but to be courted by his dream school as a first-semester-junior was unexpected, to say the least.

But then again, the ‘unexpected’ is something one comes to expect whilst on their CEO journey (and often, long after that). While some may attribute the unanticipated good fortune to luck or coincidence, we find it has more to do with the individuals who choose to be involved in CEO: hard-working, innovative, energetic people with a heart for entrepreneurship… people like Walker Goodwin. The Jasper County CEO student is no stranger to hard work. In fact, prior to beginning his CEO journey, the young entrepreneur started his own business, Walker of All Trades, offering ‘odd-job’ services to members of his community.

He is, additionally, involved in numerous extracurriculars... And as it turns out, he’s just getting started. Though the student-ran businesses aren’t finalized until the beginning of second semester, Walker chose to get a head start and test-run his business model this past fall. The Arena and Beyond -- a marketing project for young athletes involved in unconventional sports -- officially kicked off at the end of October with high school rodeo. “I’m chest-deep in rodeo athletes right now,” says Walker. “I’m promoting it pretty heavily.

The dream, of course, is to make it a career.” Each Sunday, Walker posts to The Arena and Beyond’s Facebook page, shining light on a new athlete every week. At this time, Walker’s focus is rodeo, but he anticipates highlighting motocross, bass fishing and other uncommon sports in the future. “It’s been a whirlwind,” he says, exhaling. He’s speaking, of course, to the attention his posts have been receiving since he launched the Facebook page for his business. Using a “Facebook Live” video feed, Walker’s first post was a live interview with friend and fellow rodeo enthusiast, Stetson Bierman. In less than a few hours, the post had 413 views, and, over time, has reached more than 1,000 people.

One of those individuals who came in contact with the page was a recruiter from the University of Nebraska. “I was on the phone with my dad when I saw that first line,” says Walker. “My dad was like, ‘What? What’s going on?’ It’s just been... amazing.” Though there is a long road ahead for the young entrepreneur and many decisions left to be made, one thing is certain… Walker Goodwin is one to watch in 2017. His spirit, his passion and his work ethic will, undoubtedly, take him places… both in the arena, and beyond.

To follow Walker’s story, check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Arenaandbeyond/ #yourCEOstory #CEOStudentSpotlight #JasperCountyCEO #CEOMidland

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