Rural Voices Youth Contest

Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Rural Voices winners!

First Place Video Entry: Isabella Hartman, St. John’s Catholic High School, Beloit, KS
First Place Written Entry: Riley Doebele, Hanover High School, Hanover, KS

Click here to view the winning entries.

About the Contest

The Rural Voices Youth Contest, sponsored by the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC), offers high school seniors in North Central Kansas the opportunity to compete for cash awards by submitting an original essay or video reflective of a chosen theme relevant to rural Kansas. The purpose of the contest is to engage high school seniors in thoughtful reflection on rural Kansas and to promote a discussion among citizens based on their insights.

Nearly $20,000 has been awarded to high school seniors from North Central Kansas since 2006!

The next contest deadline will be November 15, 2017. Further details will be announced and registration for the 2017-2018 Rural Voices Youth Contest will begin in September 2017.


Announcing the 2016-2017 Contest – “Rural Kansas…Why it Matters”

The 2016-2017 Rural Voices Contest theme is “Rural Kansas…Why it Matters.” The NCRPC invites high school seniors in North Central Kansas to prepare an original essay or video based on the contest theme and address the following in their entries:

Rural Kansas faces unique challenges, but is also essential and exceptional. According to Census data, approximately one in five people live in rural areas. Residents of small communities have big ideas and play an important role in our world. Discuss what bridges the gap between the distinct culture of rural Kansas and our neighbors in more urban areas. How might we reinvent rural Kansas to meet our challenges and capitalize on our future? What about rural Kansas matters to you and why should it matter to others outside our geography?

Awards:

  • A one-time cash award of $850 will be made to the winning entry in each media category.
  • Winning entries will be published on the North Central Regional Planning Commission website (www.ncprc.org).

How to Submit a Written Entry:

  • Written entries are to be completed by an individual.
  • Entry should be reflective of the contest theme.
  • Written documents should be double spaced and 12-point font with one-inch margins. The student’s name should not appear on the entry.
  • Entry must be at least 1,000 words and may be fiction or non-fiction. An electronic word count feature will be used to verify that an entry meets minimum length requirements.
  • Written entries should be saved as a pdf file and submitted electronically to ruralvoices@nckcn.com.

How to Submit a Video Entry:

  • Video entries may be completed by an individual or a team of up to four individuals. All team members shall be seniors in high school. Note that the $850 cash award for a first place video entry is for the total entry and not per person on a team. Teams will need to designate their payee(s) in the online contest registration form.
  • Videos must be at least three (3) minutes and must not exceed five (5) minutes in length.
  • Entry should be reflective of the contest theme.
  • All work must be original of the student entering, including any photos that may be incorporated into the video.
  • If music is used, no copyrighted music can be used without proof of written permission.
  • Use of good video technique is encouraged, including the use of a tripod if necessary.
  • Video entries should be uploaded to YouTube (www.youtube.com) with a link sent to ruralvoices@nckcn.com.

Official Rules:

Contest Entry Deadline

All entries AND online contest registration forms must be received electronically no later than 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2016.*

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible: The contest is open to any senior in high school who lives in and/or attends a public or private high school whose district falls within the 12-county NCPRC service area* — including the counties of Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Marshall, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline and Washington. Home school students in this same area may also enter.
*A student is eligible to enter if any portion of their school district’s official boundaries falls within the 12-county NCPRC service area.

Not Eligible: NCRPC employees and their immediate family members may not participate.

Additional Criteria

  • Entries are to be in the form of a written essay or a short video. All work must be original.
  • Written entries are to be completed by an individual.
  • Video entries may be completed by an individual OR a team of up to four individuals. All team members shall be seniors in high school. Note that the $850 cash award for a first place video entry is for the total entry and not per person on a team. Teams will need to designate their payee(s) in the online contest registration form.
  • Only one entry per person (may enter either as an individual OR as part of a team; not both).
    *We suggest keeping a copy of the sent email so there is proof of a date mark prior to November 15, 2016, 11:59 p.m. in case technical difficulties arise. Late entries without such proof will not be considered. Receipt confirmation may also be obtained by emailing the contest coordinator at lthielen@nckcn.com.

The Rural Voices Contest is sponsored by the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC). The NCRPC is committed to advancing rural Kansas through comprehensive planning and development services. Its primary service area includes 12 counties and 83 cities in North Central Kansas.

For questions about the contest, please contact Lori Thielen, Rural Voices Contest Coordinator, at lthielen@nckcn.com or 785-738-2218.

The NCRPC reserves the right to make no awards or partial awards based on the quality of the entries received.