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ISSN: 1936-0479

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The North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC), Beloit, is pleased to announce the following winners of the 2010-2011 RuralVoices Youth Contest. All three winners will receive a cash award and be recognized with the John R. Cyr RuralVoices Award, which is named in honor of Cyr who served for 22 years as the NCRPC Executive Director.

The contest theme for 2010-2011 was "Rural Kansas.Creating a Path to the Future Now." High school seniors in the NCRPC 12-county service area - including the counties of Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Marshall, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline and Washington - were eligible to submit an original work to be considered in the contest. Contestants could enter by submitting one of the following: a written essay, a series of photographs, or a short video

Spring 2011: Rural Voices

2011 Rural Voices Essay Winner
Returning Home
By Alexandra Feldkamp
Lincoln High School

Turning onto a dirt road with undulations comparable to that of a washboard, Julie scrutinized the horizon, picking out almost imperceptible markings against the skyline. Her gaze narrowed as she paused on a dilapidated structure that had served as the town’s primary attraction for over 30 years. The tiled roof, once regal in appearance as it shimmered underneath the effervescent sun, sagged humbly in defeat, permanently frozen in time, marked only by an umber layer of soot and decay. Brittle, bony wires now hung in place of the voluptuous vines that had danced and tilted across the honey-dew bricks, clawing at what remained of the crumbling ashen chunks.

2011 Rural Voices Video Winner
Creating Future Leaders
By Katie Hesting
Rock Hills High School

2011 Rural Voices Photo Winner
Preserving History
By Sarah Kratzer
Ellsworth High School

 

We would like to present a few of the other outstanding entries.

Making a Difference
By Courtney Rae Wiggins
Salina Central High School

Sunlight seeped through the ivory blinds that covered Courtney’s double pane windows. She squinted as the sunlight poured onto her bed. Another day, another opportunity, she thought to herself. Ever since Courtney was named mayor of Smolan, Kansas she embraced that honor and sought out everyday to make a difference in her community. To the average person, this Monday morning appeared an ordinary day but not to Courtney; today held promise for the future. Determined to better the city, she tackled one day at a time.

Saving Small Towns: Reviving Smithen
By Matt Spurlock
Chapman High School

Imagine a typical small town. A town big enough so that only the neighbors know when someone new moves in, but small enough so all the kids know everyone in their grade. It is also a town where the community gathers on every Friday night in the fall to cheer on the high school football team and one that is slowly dying and seems to soon be a part of history.

The Key Ingredient: Leadership
By Katelynn Tiller
Chapman High School

As a leader in my rural community, I am committed to maintaining the feel of community that exists here. Every town, even the best, must consider what steps must be taken in order to make sure that their town remains a viable and desirable place to live now and in the future. I must also consider the composition of the town’s leadership team that will be needed to create an environment of sustained prosperity and well-being in my town. There are projects that I will need to consider in order to increase the community’s cohesiveness, pride and attraction. I expect certain values to be held in higher esteem from both myself and my leadership team.

Sponsored by the North Central Regional Planning Commission. For questions or additional information, please contact Lori Thielen, RuralVoices Contest Coordinator, at lthielen@nckcn.com or 785-738-2218.

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Last Updated March 8, 2011
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