Rural Voices Youth Contest

The 2023-2024 Rural Voices Youth Contest is now closed. Award announcements are expected to be made in April 2024.

The Rural Voices Youth Contest was created to engage the youth of North Central Kansas in thoughtful reflection on rural Kansas. More than $27,000 has been awarded to high school seniors from across the region since the contest began in 2006.

About the 2023-2024 Contest Theme:  “Rural Kansas…Success Through Innovation”

The NCRPC invited high school seniors in North Central Kansas (NCRPC 12-county primary service area) to prepare an original essay or video based on this year’s theme of “Rural Kansas…Success Through Innovation.”

Entries were to address the following: Rural Kansas residents, community leaders and business owners have a history of being innovative. Examples of innovation and successful entrepreneurs are all around us. Discuss how a great idea was turned into a creative solution to a community problem or a unique tradition that serves a purpose in your town or a successful business in your community. What more can be done to encourage and support innovation in North Central Kansas?


Students submitting the top two entries will each receive a one-time cash award of $1,000 and be recognized with the John R. Cyr Rural Voices Award. The award is named in honor of Cyr who served for 22 years as NCRPC Executive Director. Winning entries will also be published on the North Central Regional Planning Commission website.

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, email or call 785-738-2218.

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