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Home | KNDY News | RuralVoices Youth Contest Winners Named

RuralVoices Youth Contest Winners Named

BELOIT, KS, March 24, 2010 – Three high school seniors from North Central Kansas will each receive $650 for submitting the top entries in the Fourth Annual RuralVoices Youth Contest sponsored by the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC), Beloit, Kansas.

Students had three options to participate that included submitting a written essay, a video or a photo series. Winners were Allison Bruna, Hanover High School, photo series; Samantha Dean, Rock Hills High School, video; and Haylee Steffen, Abilene High School, written essay.

All three students are 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 top entries are also published on the Eye on Kansas Online Magazine, which is a NCRPC sister site.

Lori Thielen, Contest Coordinator, said this year’s contest theme was “Rural Kansas.Working Together.”

“We are thrilled that the contest continues to grow each year,” Thielen said. “Our panel of judges continues to be impressed with the caliber of work that students from across the region are submitting.”

The contest is open to high school seniors in the NCRPC’s core 12-county service area – including the counties of Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Marshall, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline and Washington.

The next RuralVoices Youth Contest application deadline will be November 15, 2010. To view this year’s top entries or to find out more about the contest, visit and click on the RuralVoices link.

About Derek Nester

Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communication. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 70 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing.