Seniors Earn Rural Voices Award

Two high school seniors in North Central Kansas are being recognized with the John R. Cyr Rural Voices Award for submitting the top entries in the 2022-2023 Rural Voices Youth Contest. The North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC), Beloit, Kansas, sponsors the contest.

According to the organization, the winners include Jane Letourneau, a senior at St. John’s Catholic High School, and Kady Toole, a senior at Washington County High School.

Both Letourneau and Toole will receive a cash award of $1,000.

The contest awards are named in honor of John Cyr who served for 22 years as the NCRPC Executive Director. Since 2006, NCRPC has awarded more than $29,000 through the Rural Voices Youth Contest.

Students had the option to submit an original essay or video reflective of this year’s contest theme of “Rural Kansas…Working Together.” High school seniors in the 12-county NCRPC service area — including the counties of Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Marshall, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline, and Washington — were eligible to participate.

“The NCRPC is pleased to honor this year’s recipients of the John R. Cyr Rural Voices Award,” said NCRPC Executive Director John Shea. “Jane and Kady exemplify the best of youth in rural Kansas and represent a bright future for our region.”

To view the winning entries or to learn more about the contest, visit