Rural Voices Youth Contest

Congratulations to the 2024 scholarship winners!

  • Noah Goss, Ellsworth High School
  • Thaddeus Donley, Donley Ranch Schoolhouse (rural Ellsworth County)
View the Winning Entries

It is anticipated that the next scholarship contest will be announced in Fall 2024 with a February 1, 2025 entry deadline.

About the Contest

North Central Regional Planning Commission has sponsored the Rural Voices Youth Contest since 2006. The scholarship initiative was created to engage high school seniors in North Central Kansas in thoughtful reflection on rural Kansas and to promote a discussion among citizens based on their insights. Since the contest began, we are proud to have awarded more than $30,000 to high school seniors from around the region.

2023-2024 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 the theme of “Rural Kansas…Success Through Innovation.”


Students submitting the top two entries each receive a one-time cash award of $1,000 and are 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.

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.