Rural Voices Youth Contest

Rural Voices contest logo

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Rural Voices Youth Contest winners!

  • Avery Johnson, Beloit Jr. Sr. High School
  • Carrie Roe, Herington High School

Click here to view the winning entries.

About the Contest

The Rural Voices contest is sponsored by the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC), Beloit, Kansas. It was created to engage the youth of North Central Kansas in thoughtful reflection on rural Kansas and to promote a discussion among citizens based on their insights. More than $26,000 has been awarded to high school seniors from around the region since the contest began in 2006.

Check back in Fall 2021 for details on the 2021-2022 Rural Voices Youth Contest.

2020-2021 Contest Theme – “Rural Kansas…Tomorrow’s Possibilities”

The NCRPC invites high school seniors in North Central Kansas to prepare an original essay or video based on this year’s theme of “Rural Kansas…Tomorrow’s Possibilities.”

Entries should address the following:

“Rural Kansas holds many possibilities for the future. How can your community in North Central Kansas overcome challenges and reach its full potential to thrive? What opportunities should be explored to make your community an even better place to live? What is your vision for rural Kansas in 2030?”


  • A one-time cash award of $850 will be made to the top two entries.
  • Winning entries will be published on the North Central Regional Planning Commission website.
  • Winners will 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.
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 NCRPC service area.

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


The contest allows one entry per person. This could include one of the following:

    • Individual written entry
    • Individual video entry
    • Team video entry

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