High School Seniors Invited to Compete in Rural Voices Contest

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BELOIT, KS, September 10, 2020 — High school seniors in North Central Kansas are invited to compete for a chance to win $850 by submitting a written essay or short video in the 2020-2021 Rural Voices Youth Contest. The North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC), Beloit, Kansas, sponsors the contest and has awarded more than $24,000 to high school seniors from around the region since 2006.

Students submitting the top two entries will receive a cash award of $850 and 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. The winning entries will also be published on the NCRPC website. Entries are to be reflective of this year’s contest theme, which is “Rural Kansas…Tomorrow’s Possibilities.”

Any senior in high school who lives in or attends a school in the 12-county NCRPC service area is eligible to enter the contest — including the counties of Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Marshall, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline and Washington. A team option is also available for the video category. The deadline to submit an entry is December 1, 2020. Additional information and registration details are available at www.ncrpc.org/ruralvoices.

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 more information about the NCRPC, visit www.ncrpc.org.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.