Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs staff honored with top volunteer award from national consumer literacy program, LifeSmarts

May 19, 2020

Theresa Kong Kee, Gloryana Akapo named 2020 LifeSmarts State Coordinators of the Year 

Contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—LifeSmarts, a national teen consumer literacy and scholarship program, has named two Hawaii government officials its 2020 Coordinators of the Year: Theresa Kong Kee, Investor Education Specialist, and Gloryana Akapo, Securities Multi-Media Education Specialist with the Office of the Securities Commissioner, both with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Kong Kee has served as Hawaii State LifeSmarts Coordinator for 7 years; Akapo joined her as co-coordinator two years ago.

LifeSmarts, a consumer education competition that challenges teens in grades 9-12 about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities, is a program of the National Consumers League (NCL). LifeSmarts is coordinated by NCL at the national level and by volunteers who serve as State Coordinators across the country.

“Working together, Theresa and Gloryana run a very successful and competitive LifeSmarts program for students and educators in Hawaii,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “They have developed a state LifeSmarts website that includes many resources for educators. They actively promote LifeSmarts through social media to provide resources to their coaches, and they have continued to be especially active during the pandemic.”

LifeSmarts State Coordinators implement the national consumer education program at the local level, bringing to bear their knowledge of best practices for students and educators in their state. State Coordinators promote the program, advise educators, and run online and live state competitions to advance consumer education for the students in their states.

Staff within the Office of the Securities Commissioner in the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has served in the State Coordinator role since 2013.

“Theresa and Gloryana work so hard for their state, and it shows; Hawaii’s LifeSmarts program is truly exceptional, when it comes to administration, partnerships, and—most importantly—student participation and success,” said Hertzberg. “The Hawaii LifeSmarts program is robust, and student teams have done very well at the national level. Hawaii is also home to the second largest Junior Varsity (middle school) program in the nation. We are thrilled to honor them this year and congratulate them for a job very well done.”


About LifeSmarts and the National Consumers League

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: www.lifesmarts.org, email lifesmarts@nclnet.org or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at (202) 835-3323.

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.