LifeSmarts program awards scholarships to five student leaders from Morehead City, NC, Bedford, TX, and Ellenboro, WV

January 30, 2020

Contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay,, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling,, (202)  207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) has announced five scholarship recipients, honored for their involvement in a community service and leadership initiative made possible through its consumer literacy program, LifeSmarts  ( The students have been awarded $1,000 academic scholarships for winning entries based on their experiences serving as Safety Smart® Ambassadors, a partnership between LifeSmarts and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that pairs high school students with elementary classrooms to teach lessons about health, safety, and the environment. 

Scholarship winners 

  • Addison Jones, (11th grade), West Virginia – Ritchie County High School
  • Allison Little, (10th grade), Texas – Midcities Montessori
  • Matthew Loynes, (12th grade), North Carolina – West Carteret High School
  • Abby Olstrup, (10th grade), Texas – Midcities Montessori
  • Destinee Smith, (11th grade), West Virginia – Ritchie County High School

In 2019, more than 300 LifeSmarts students became Safety Smart Ambassadors. Working as teams, high school students made more than 500 interactive, 30-minute presentations, sharing empowering and educational safety messages with 13,600 young children throughout their communities. LifeSmarts is a national program that competitively tests high school students’ knowledge of consumer awareness, with subjects including personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights and responsibility, technology, and the environment.

“We are so proud of our students who participated in the Safety Smart Ambassador program and the positive impact they made on their communities, and especially these five stand-outs,” said Lisa Hertzberg,  LifeSmarts program director. “We truly appreciate this partnership with UL. It has been extremely gratifying to see LifeSmarts students embrace the Safety Smart Ambassador program, provide education and mentoring to younger children, and learn about themselves in the process.” 

The LifeSmarts and UL partnership has underwritten the Safety Smart Ambassador program and provided LifeSmarts with access to the vast knowledge base of UL’s educational programs, including resources for LifeSmarts to bolster its science and environment curriculum, resources, and competitive opportunities. 

For more information, please visit  

Winter 2020 Safety Smart Ambassador award winners – in their own words  

Addison Jones (WV)

I have never been good at public speaking. Throughout this experience, I have learned how to adapt to a younger audience and how I can improve my public speaking skills. This truly was an amazing learning experience and I am grateful to have such amazing partners, along with an amazing group of children as an audience.

Allison Little (TX)

Safety Smart has always been one of the highlights of my year. I love teaching kids new things especially when it’s meaningful for all of us. Teaching kids to wash their hands correctly helps them prevent illness and keeps others from getting sick as well. It’s a win, win. 

Matthew Loynes (NC)

This program is more than a community service project to me. It has enriched my High School career in a way that nothing else has. The main draw is interacting with children and feeling like I am making a difference. Safety Smart allows me to step into the education of hundreds of kids and teach them about something that I find very important. This program has gone a long way in teaching me the value of youth education. It has also shown me how much of a difference I can make.

Abby Olstrup (TX)

I brought out a blacklight so we could see all the germs on their hands. They were intrigued as they searched for germs on their hands. I heard one kid talking to his friend saying, “I could feel the germs on my hand.” Then we came around and gave them hand sanitizer to clean off their hands and brought out the blacklight again to see if the germs were still there. We explained that hand sanitizer is good to use if you don’t have soap or warm water. They counted to twenty so they could see how long they should scrub their hands. After this we discussed other ways they could stay healthy. We then passed out “germ fighters” stickers that we created. With what they know about germs and staying healthy, I can officially say that they are “germ fighters” and Safety Smart.

Destinee Smith (WV)

Honestly, I’d never known children had such a narrow understanding of how treacherous the online world could be, or how important it was to make sure they knew these things at such a young age. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to open up their young minds to something that will quite literally affect them for the rest of their lives.


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. LifeSmarts educational resources are available online throughout the year at Competition begins again in September. For more information, visit: 

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