Cumberland Valley High School team from Pennsylvania takes 2022 National LifeSmarts Championship in Washington, DC

April 26, 2022

Contact: National Consumers League, Katie Brown, (202) 207-2832, katie@nclnet.org

Washington, DC—The Varsity Wild Card 2 team from Cumberland Valley High School coached by Anne Marie Miller, was crowned the 2022 National LifeSmarts Champions in Washington, D.C. last week. In a close match against the team from Montgomery High School in New Jersey, the teens from the Cumberland Valley High School outplayed their opponents in an exciting end to the four-day competition.

2022 Team members include: Captain Anaya Kurup, Owen Reeves, Zade Elamir, David Cameron, and Derek Works. New Jersey finished in second place, and teams from Idaho and Wisconsin tied for third.  Fourth place team honors went to state champions from North Carolina, Arizona, Washington, and Varsity Wild Card 1 from North East High School in Pennsylvania.

“We are so proud of these students from Pennsylvania, this is the first time a Wild Card team has taken the championship,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “They played hard and demonstrated their consumer smarts throughout the four-day event. They are true LifeSmarts champions.”

LifeSmarts is an education and scholarship program run by the Washington, DC-based National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization. It competitively tests high school students’ knowledge of consumer awareness, with subjects including personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights and responsibility, technology and workforce preparation, and the environment. LifeSmarts is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in partnership programs with student leadership programs FBLA, 4H, FCCLA and SkillsUSA.

Each of the students on the first place teams receives a $1,500.00 scholarship, second place team members receive $1,000.00 scholarships and third place team members receive $750 scholarships.

Fourth place team members received gift cards.

Teens from each of the 38 champion teams represented at nationals competed as individuals, and the top five scorers received scholarships from NCL. This year’s winners were:

The 2022 winners in the Individual Category Assessments receiving a $500 scholarship were:
Environment: Catherine Feng from New Jersey
Personal Finance: Lucas Carver from Pennsylvania
Health and Safety: Julissa Freeman from Alabama
Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Kyle Kintz from Pennsylvania
Technology and Workforce Preparation: Grace Ren from New Jersey

Clayton Adams from 4-H Wild Card team 1 from Madison County 4-H in Georgia, and Melissa Fraga from Florida’s Leto 4-H Gold team were honored as the 2021-2022 LifeSmarts Students of the Year.

LifeSmarts Coaches of the Year Awards went to Linda Huebner from FCCLA Wild Card 3 in Bartlett, Texas and Greg Henning of Varsity Wild Card team 1, North East High School in Pennsylvania.

Kim Edmonds from Virginia was named LifeSmarts State Coordinator of the Year.

Co – state coordinator of the year is Cherry Dale, Virginia Credit Union – Financial Education Director.

The Sarah Weinberg Memorial Scholarship, given each year to a student who demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to community service, was awarded this year to Sadie Heckert of Neligh Junior/Senior High School from Nebraska.

Johnson & Johnson Over the Counter Medication Mentor $1000 scholarships were awarded to students who participated in the health and safety-related youth mentoring program sponsored by LifeSmarts and Johnson and Johnson. Honorees were: Wheaten Smith from Arizona, Alyssa Goldman from Madison County 4-H in Georgia, Alexis Johnson from SkillsUSA Wild Card in Wyoming, Abigail Olstrup from Texas, and Angie Jacobo from Illinois.

The UL Be Safe Buy Real Digital Poster contest winners were: Jackson Miller, Arizona; Gabrielle Alljets, Colorado; Alex Runyan form Georgia; Sean Slattery from Illinois; Miles Flack from Minnesota; Levi Frisbie from Missouri; Aspen Busby from Texas; Abigail Olstrup from Texas; Michaela Joy Patterson from Texas; and Max Butler from Virginia.

NortonLifeLock Identity Theft Essay Contest winners were Julissa Freeman from Alabama, Sara Abernathy from Georgia, Alison Sporleder from Missouri, Tommy Wild from North Carolina, and Suzette Mejia from SkillsUSA Wild Card in Wyoming.

The Spirit of LifeSmarts Team Award, in honor of the late North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, was awarded to Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas.

Seventy graduating seniors were presented with LifeSmarts Honor Cords to wear at their upcoming high school graduations and were welcomed as new LifeSmarts alumni. Additionally, several alumni assisted in various roles throughout the event.

Many teams competed in the February TeamSmarts Capstone quiz. Each of these teams earned a $100 cash award for their high scores.
The Varsity winner is Tescott High School in Kansas; the FBLA winner is UDHS_GormanBroker from Upper Dublin Senior High School in Pennsylvania; the FCCLA winner is Thedford High School FCCLA in Nebraska; and the 4-H winner is WYSIWYG from Hnerico County 4-H in Virginia.

Teams from 12 states submitted designs for this year’s t-shirt contest. This year’s judge’s awards went to 4-H Wild Card 3 – Columbia County 4-H from Georgia, Indiana, and the the People’s Choice t-shirt award went to Washington.

Missed the excitement? You can still watch the exciting final day of competition here.

All winners at the national LifeSmarts Competition received valuable prizes donated by sponsors to the National Consumers League, including scholarships, savings bonds, gift cards, and more.

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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.

LifeSmarts announces partnership with Discover® Student Loans  

Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown, katie@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

During Financial Literacy Month, LifeSmarts teen consumer literacy program has introduced a new lesson focused on financing a college education and understanding student loans.

March 31, 2022

Washington, DC– The 28th National LifeSmarts Championship is on the horizon for the National Consumers League’s (NCL) youth consumer education program. Through LifeSmarts students learn about real-life consumer issues and compete to win prizes and scholarships at the National LifeSmarts Championship in April each year. Tomorrow, April 1, is the start of Financial Literacy Month. To commemorate this month, NCL is proud to announce a new lesson about financing a college education, made possible through financial support from Discover Student Loans.

On April 21, 39 teams from across the country will meet in Washington, DC, to compete in the 2022 National LifeSmarts Championship.  The Championship competition takes place over four days in which students will showcase their knowledge of personal finance topics as well as consumer rights, technology and workforce preparation, health and safety, and the environment.

Thanks to Discover Student Loans, LifeSmarts has created a new lesson on financial aid, with questions that will be featured in the National Championship. In the fall, the lessons and new competition focus will be fully integrated into the program for the new school year. Students and educators will see a concentration on personal finance topics at both the 2022 and 2023 National LifeSmarts Championships.

“We are so pleased to work with Discover Student Loans to help our students learn more about the important subject of paying for post-secondary education,” said National Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “We know LifeSmarts gives students the skills they need to succeed as adults, and we see students applying what they learn immediately at home and in their communities. We are thrilled to be able to give special focus to the most crucial lessons in personal finance, and we look forward to rolling out new resources for educators and opportunities for student participants.”

Last year, students answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions about credit reports, nutrition, social media, and everything in between. More than 100,000 students will participate this year.

LifeSmarts is active in all states and the District of Columbia, where NCL is headquartered. “We are excited to have the opportunity to focus on personal finance for consumers at this age, when they are beginning to make decisions for themselves and influencing decisions made by their parents,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of NCL. “Too often, traditional high school curriculum fails to teach students vital information to become successful adults, and LifeSmarts helps to close that gap.”

“It’s important that students and their families plan and save for college expenses, pursue free financial aid such as grants and scholarships, and understand the options for federal and private student loans,” said PK Parekh, senior vice president of Discover Student Loans. “We are very happy to work with LifeSmarts to help students learn through real-world lessons about personal finance, financial aid, and responsible borrowing.”

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About LifeSmarts

LifeSmarts is a comprehensive consumer education program that is free to middle school and high school students and educators. The goal of the LifeSmarts program is to create consumer savvy young people who will be better equipped for adult life in today’s complex, global marketplace. Visit LifeSmarts.org for more information. LifeSmarts: Learn it. Live it.

About the National Consumers League (NCL)

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 https://nclnet.org.

LifeSmarts consumer literacy program launches 2021-22 season with new online learning, scholarship, and community service opportunities for teens

Millions of student leaders have gained real-world knowledge through the program’s 27 years of education and competition

September 13, 2021
Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—Today marks the official launch of the 2021-2022 season of LifeSmarts, a national scholarship competition and educational program for middle-school and high-school students that tests knowledge of real-life consumer issues and is helping to create a future generation of consumer-savvy adults. A new season of LifeSmarts goes live online at LifeSmarts.org today. LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League, the nation’s pioneering consumer advocacy watchdog.

“We are very excited to launch this season of LifeSmarts,” said Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “For more than a quarter century, LifeSmarts has given students the skills they need to succeed as adults. We’ve seen more than 1.5 million students gain knowledge, confidence, leadership capabilities, and team-building skills. The competition is fun, and the impact of LifeSmarts is life-long.”

As our nation’s education institutions continue to evolve in response to the pandemic, LifeSmarts has evolved as well, offering tools to meet the needs of instructors whether they are teaching inside a classroom or remotely.

“No matter what modality schools are using, LifeSmarts has resources for educators and parents to use during this unique time,” said Hertzberg. “Developing smart and successful citizens, workers, and consumers is always our mission, and we’re here to help students and educators meet the challenges imposed by COVID-19.”

LifeSmarts focuses on five main content areas:

  • consumer rights & responsibilities
  • personal finance
  • technology & workforce prep
  • health & safety
  • the environment

Each year, LifeSmarts competitors answer more than 3.5 million consumer questions about credit reports, recycling, nutrition, social media, state lemon laws, and everything in between. Students are quizzed on their knowledge of these subject areas during online competition. Top-performing teams then advance to statewide competitions, and state champion teams, as well as several wildcard teams, advance to the national championship held each year in a different American city.

The 2022 National LifeSmarts Championship is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, April 21-24, 2022, where State Champion and Wild Card teams will meet to compete for the national title. Last year’s competition was held virtually.

In addition to online, state, and national competitions, LifeSmarts recognition and awards occur throughout the program year:

Teams of students vie for cash prizes in the online TeamSmarts quiz, which focuses on a specific LifeSmarts content area each month from September through February.

Classroom mentor programs: Five $1,000 scholarships are awarded each winter to winning LifeSmarts students who become LifeSmarts OTC Medicine Safety Mentors to educate younger students and community members about medicine safety. LifeSmarts thanks Johnson & Johnson for underwriting this important community service project.

Partnering with FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), 4-H, and FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), LifeSmarts complements these organizations’ projects, judging events, competitive events, and activities. LifeSmarts offers special opportunities for members of these student leadership organizations.

LifeSmarts is active in all states and the District of Columbia.

“We are proud of the impact LifeSmarts has made entering its 28th  year educating teens, and we are excited to continue to grow the LifeSmarts program, to educate students about financial literacy, and to create a new generation of savvy, market-ready consumers and workers,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Too often traditional high school curriculum fails to teach students vital information that will be crucial once students go to college, get their first job, or move out of their parents’ house.”

In addition to hosting the official LifeSmarts competition, LifeSmarts.org provides resources for educators to supplement existing lesson plans. These include daily quizzes, educational videos, lessons, focused study guides, and scholarship opportunities. LifeSmarts lessons closely align with courses taught in family and consumer sciences, business, technology, health, and vocational education. Math and English teachers have also had success with LifeSmarts, as have homeschool and community educators.

Major LifeSmarts contributors include: Amazon, American Express, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Melaleuca, NortonLifeLock, Toyota, Underwriters Laboratories, Western Union, and WSECU, along with a number of state and local sponsors.

Visit LifeSmarts.org for more information.

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About LifeSmarts

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: 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.

Student teams from North Dakota, Kentucky take national honors at LifeSmarts consumer literacy competition 

April 20, 2021

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

Washington, DC—Students from Jamestown, ND, and Webster County, KY were crowned the 2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champions at a virtual event held this weekend, concluding today with very competitive nail-biting final match-ups. Jamestown High School beat out Dallas High School from Dallas, PA, for the 2020 title; Webster County was victorious over the team from Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Monroe, NC. 

LifeSmarts is an education and scholarship program run by the Washington, DC-based National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization. It 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. LifeSmarts is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in partnership programs with student leadership programs FBLA, 4H, and FCCLA. 

“We are so proud of these students from North Dakota and Kentucky, who represented their state programs with class and pride to take the championship,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “They played hard and demonstrated their consumer smarts throughout the three-day event. They are true LifeSmarts champions.” 

Consumer-savvy teens representing 30 states, the District of Columbia, and 11 wild card teams, competed at the event. Throughout the 2020-2021 program year, more than 100,000 teens competed online for a chance to represent their states at the 2021 National LifeSmarts Championship. Players answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions in the online competition. 

The 2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champions and other winning teams walked away with prizes and $50,000 in scholarships. 

2020 Winners
National Champions: Jamestown High School, Jamestown, North Dakota, coached by Marchel Krieger
2nd Place: Dallas High School, Dallas, Pennsylvania
3rd Place: Iola High School, Iola, Kansas and Barrington High School, Barrington, Rhode Island 

2021 Winners
National Champions: Webster County 4-H, Webster County, Kentucky, coached by Wade Raymer
2nd Place: Central Academy of Technology and ArtsMonroe, North Carolina
3rd Place: TWCA Club in Poolesville, Maryland and East Greenwich High School, East Greenwich, Rhode Island  

Teens from each of the nearly 60 champion teams represented at nationals competed as individuals, and the top five scorers received scholarships from NCL. This year’s winners were: 

2020 Individual Winners
Environment: Clement Hilty from Rhode Island
Personal Finance: Kareem Morsy from Pennsylvania
Health and Safety: Owen Sheff from Rhode Island
Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Garret Wright from North Dakota
Technology and Workforce Preparation: Jarron Larson from North Dakota

2021 Individual Winners
Environment: Om Desai from Maryland
Personal Finance: Kylie Fung from California
Health and Safety: Rhett Huebner from Texas
Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Wyles Gilfoil from Louisiana
Technology and Workforce Preparation: Yifan Zhao from California 

Of the Year Awards
Andrew Gryskewicz from Dallas High School in Dallas, PA, and Lily Martin from Webster County 4-H in Kentucky were named the 2020 and 2021 Students of the Year. Scott Neu (Wisconsin) and Sharon Rash (Oklahoma) were named LifeSmarts Coaches of the Year. 

Long-time State Coordinator Crystal Kraft, from North Dakota, earned the Coordinator of the Year honor. Kraft’s program was the only one in the country to hold an in-person state competition this year. 

The Sarah Weinberg Memorial Scholarship, given to students who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to community service, was awarded to Sophie Merka from Georgia. 

For team photos, event schedules, grid standings, and more, log on to https://lifesmarts.us2.pathable.com/ 

NCL thanks the sponsors who make the program possible including Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Melaleuca, Toyota, American Express, Intuit, and the Washington State Employees Credit Union. 

All winners at the national LifeSmarts Competition received valuable prizes donated by sponsors to the National Consumers League, including scholarships, gift cards, and fun swag items. To learn more about the program, contact NCL’s Lisa Hertzberg at (202) 835-3323. 

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About the National Consumers League and LifeSmarts

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.

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.

National Consumers League to host first-ever virtual National LifeSmarts Championship April 17-19

April 16, 2021

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

Washington, DC—In celebration of Financial Literacy Month, the National Consumers League (NCL) has announced the nearly 60 champion teams who will gather this weekend to compete in the first-ever virtual National LifeSmarts Championship.

LifeSmarts (LifeSmarts.org), 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). In LifeSmarts, students compete online and in-person at the local and state levels. Top-scorers progress to their state competitions, and then State Champion teams meet each April to compete in the National LifeSmarts Championship. In 2019, at the most recent National LifeSmarts Championship, Rhode Island’s Barrington High School took home the title.

A year ago, NCL was forced to cancel the 2020 national event due to the coronavirus pandemic, but 2020 State Champion and Wild Card teams are being welcomed back to compete in the rescheduled event, which will take place simultaneously online along with the 2021 program. In all, 33 teams will compete at the 2021 national event and 24 teams will compete for the 2020 title.

The 2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champion teams will be crowned on Monday, April 19.

Complete roster of state champions teams listed below.

Consumer-savvy teens representing 30 states, the District of Columbia, and 11 Wild Card teams, will compete at this year’s event. Throughout the 2020-2021 program year, more than 100,000 teens competed online for a chance to represent their states at the 2021 National LifeSmarts Championship. Players answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions in the online competition.

“We are so proud of our 2020 and 2021 LifeSmarts champions, who have proven themselves to be the best and the brightest of the next generation of consumers,” said Lisa Hertzberg, National LifeSmarts Program Director. “For 27 years, LifeSmarts has been engaging and educating young consumers in a fun format and with a competitive approach. Our program goes in-depth on the issues kids—and young adults—are facing now as consumers and workers.”

The 2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champions and other winning teams will walk away with prizes and $50,000 in scholarships. In addition to placing as a team, individual students have the opportunity to compete for scholarships by demonstrating knowledge in specific program topic areas. The top eight placing teams and top 10 individuals are recognized, as well as the recipients of specialized scholarships.

NCL thanks the sponsors who make the program possible including Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Melaleuca, Toyota, American Express, Intuit, and the Washington State Employees Credit Union.

Event kickoff + competition and weekend activities
When: Saturday, April 17 at 1pm Eastern through Monday, April 19
Where: visit LifeSmarts.org for a link to the conference platform and more information about the program

2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champions will be determined in matches taking place on Monday, April 19

Follow the competition online

Parents and supporters can follow the action at Facebook.com/LifeSmarts and via Twitter: #LifeSmartsNationals

2021 National LifeSmarts Championship Teams
Arizona—Altitude 6.0 – Flagstaff Home Educators
Arkansas—Bryant Hornets 4 – Bryant High School
California—Grizzlies2 – Los Osos High School
Connecticut—Crosby Bulldogs- Crosby High School
Florida—Leto Red – Leto High School
Georgia—Columbia County 4-H Senior Team
Hawaii—Waipahu High School
Idaho—Minidoka County 4-H Teen Association
Illinois—West Chicago Community High School
Kansas—Gardner Edgerton High School
Kentucky—Webster County 4-H
Louisiana—West Feliciana High School
Maryland—TWCA Club
Michigan—Fenton Accounting – Fenton High School
Minnesota—LCWM Blue, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial
Missouri—BHS Falcons – Blair Oaks High School
New Jersey—Montgomery MFJC – Montgomery High School
North Carolina—CATA Cougars, Central Academy of Technology and Arts
North Dakota—Bottineau High School
Oklahoma—Tiger 2021 – Pryor High School
Pennsylvania—Cumberland Valley High School
Rhode Island—East Greenwich High School Avengers
Tennessee—Putnam County 4-H
Texas—Bartlett FCCLA – Bartlett High School
Virginia—Econoponax – Massaponax High School
Washington—Selah FCCLA – Selah High School
West Virginia—JMHS Marketing – John Marshall High School
Wisconsin—Belleville High School
4-H Wild Card 1—Gordon County 4-H, Georgia
FCCLA Wild Card—Muleshoe Mules – Muleshoe High School, Texas
4-H Wild Card 2—Madison County 4-H, Georgia
Varsity Wild Card 1—North East High School, Pennsylvania
FBLA Wild Card—West Carteret High School FBLA, North Carolina

2020 National LifeSmarts Championship Teams
Arizona—Altitude 5.0 – Flagstaff Home Educators
DC—McKinley Technology High School
Florida—Duval 4-H Diplomats
Georgia—Oconee County 4-H
Illinois—West Chicago Community High School
Kansas—Iola High School
Louisiana—West Feliciana High School
Minnesota—Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial
Missouri—Husker Varsity 1 – Lafayette County C-1 High School
North Carolina—North Carolina Leadership Academy
North Dakota—Jamestown High School
Oklahoma—Pryor High School
Pennsylvania—Dallas High School
Rhode Island—Barrington High School Blue
Texas—Biz-e-Teen – Midcities Montessori
Virginia—Econoponax – Massaponax High School
West Virginia—The Voluntolds – John Marshall High School
Wisconsin—Tomahawk High School
4-H Wild Card—Rockdale County 4-H, Georgia
FCCLA Wild Card—Niangua High School FCCLA, Missouri
Wild Card 1—Waipahu High School, Hawaii
Wild Card 2—Gwinnett County 4-H , Georgia
Wild Card 3—Sunrise Christian Academy, Kansas
Wild Card 4—4-H Y’all – WIT Home Educators, Virginia

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About the National Consumers League and LifeSmarts

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.

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.

LifeSmarts consumer literacy program launches 2020-21 season with new online learning, scholarship, and community service opportunities for teens

September 14, 2020

Millions of student leaders have gained real-world knowledge through the program’s quarter-century of education and competition

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

Washington, DC—Today marks the official launch of the 2020-2021 season of LifeSmarts, a national scholarship competition and educational program for middle-school and high-school students that tests knowledge of real-life consumer issues and is helping to create a future generation of consumer-savvy adults. A new season of LifeSmarts goes live online at LifeSmarts.org today. LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League, the nation’s pioneering consumer advocacy watchdog.

“We are very excited to launch this season of LifeSmarts,” said Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “For more than a quarter century, LifeSmarts has given students the skills they need to succeed as adults. We’ve seen more than 1.5 million students gain knowledge, confidence, leadership capabilities, and team-building skills. The competition is fun, and the impact of LifeSmarts is life-long.”

Education certainly looks different across the country this year, and LifeSmarts has tools to help. “No matter what modality schools are using, LifeSmarts has resources for educators and parents to use during this unique time,” said Hertzberg. “Developing smart and successful citizens, workers, and consumers is always our mission, and we’re here to help students and educators meet the challenges imposed by COVID-19.”

LifeSmarts focuses on five main content areas:

  • consumer rights and responsibilities
  • personal finance
  • technology
  • health and safety
  • and the environment

Each year, LifeSmarts competitors answer more than 3.5 million consumer questions about credit reports, recycling, nutrition, social media, state lemon laws, and everything in between. Students are quizzed on their knowledge of these subject areas during online competition. Top-performing teams then advance to statewide competitions, and state champion teams as well as several wildcard teams advance to the national championship held each year in a different American city.

The 2021 National LifeSmarts Championship is scheduled to take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 21-24, 2021.  LifeSmarts will host State Champion and Wild Card teams from both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 program years, celebrating winning students in a first-ever double competition. If COVID-19 makes that impossible, NCL will host a virtual event. Winning team members receive scholarships and other prizes.

In addition to online, state, and national competitions, LifeSmarts recognition and awards occur throughout the program year:

  • Teams of students vie for cash prizes in the online TeamSmarts quiz, which focuses on a specific LifeSmarts content area each month from September through February.
  • Classroom mentor program: Five $1,000 scholarships are awarded each winter to winning LifeSmarts students who become LifeSmarts OTC Medicine Safety Mentors to educate younger students and community members about medicine safety. LifeSmarts thanks Johnson & Johnson for underwriting this important community service project.
  • Partnering with FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), 4-H, and FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), LifeSmarts complements these organizations’ projects, judging events, competitive events, and activities. LifeSmarts offers special opportunities for members of these student leadership organizations.

LifeSmarts is active in all states and the District of Columbia, where NCL is headquartered.

“We are proud of the impact LifeSmarts has made in its 26 years of educating teens, and we are excited to continue to grow the LifeSmarts program, to educate students about financial literacy, and to create a new generation of savvy, market-ready consumers and workers,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Too often traditional high school curriculum fails to teach students vital information that will be crucial once students go to college, get their first job, or move out of their parents’ house.”

In addition to hosting the official LifeSmarts competition, LifeSmarts.org provides resources for educators to supplement existing lesson plans. These include daily quizzes, educational videos, social media competitions, focused study guides, and scholarship opportunities. LifeSmarts lessons closely align with courses taught in family and consumer sciences, business, technology, health, and vocational education. Math and English teachers have also had success with LifeSmarts, as have homeschool and community educators.

Additional major LifeSmarts contributors include: AARP, American Express, Intuit, Melaleuca, Underwriters Laboratories, and WSECU, along with a number of state and local sponsors.

Visit LifeSmarts.org for more information.

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About LifeSmarts

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: 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.

Consumer literacy program for teens launching new season year

LifeSmarts, the nation’s premier consumer program, has never been more relevant. Launching its 27th year this fall, our consumer literacy educational program and scholarship opportunity for teens provides real-world education for students on core consumer topics and develops critical thinking skills. LifeSmarts curriculum covers five key topic areas: consumer rights and responsibilities, the environment, health and safety, personal finance, and technology. LifeSmarts is creating consumer savvy young people who will be well equipped for adult life in today’s complex, global marketplace.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic this spring, the LifeSmarts program has pivoted to help newly at-home educators, students, and parent-educators make use of the many free educational resources the program provides.

NCL’s LifeSmarts staff created new resources to help students learn from home during this challenging time:

  • New Weekly Quizzes provide an opportunity for students to quiz independently, while allowing coaches to track student scores and progress.
  • LifeSmarts Adventure, the LifeSmarts app, has been relaunched. The app takes competitors on a virtual road trip as they quiz on all LifeSmarts topics.
  • Quality third-party LifeSmarts resources have been vetted and shared with our audience. These include practice sets developed by LifeSmarts, coaches, and coordinators using a variety of online study platforms.
  • Coaches receive weekly program updates featuring LifeSmarts resources to enhance online learning.
  • The LifeSmarts.org home page has been refreshed to focus on learning from home.

The LifeSmarts 2020-2021 season launches next month! This year, the program will offer new and exciting ways for educators and students to get involved in LifeSmarts. New projects this year will include features on over-the-counter medicine safety, Social Security and retirement planning, and a relaunch of the official LifeSmarts Adventure app, new quizzing activities, and more!

LifeSmarts has plenty to offer educators—teaching tools, resources, and curriculum. And for students, the skills they need to be successful adults, as well as extracurricular activities, community service opportunities, character development, and many
experiences whose memories will last a life-time.

Think LifeSmarts might be right for you or someone you know? Visit LifeSmarts.org to learn more.

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.”

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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.

2020 Champion LifeSmarts student teams announced by National Consumers League

April 28, 2020

Student competitors best in states in national consumer literacy education / scholarship program

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

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) has announced the 2020 Champion student teams that took first place in their states’ LifeSmarts 2019-2020 competitions and have earned a place at the next National LifeSmarts Championship. 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 26-year-old program sponsored by NCL.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 National LifeSmarts Championship was cancelled, but NCL is celebrating the teams of students who came in first in their states and would have competed for the 2020 national title. Due to the students’ success this year, all state champion and special Wild Card teams have qualified to compete at the 2021 National LifeSmarts Championship, which will be held in Cincinnati April 17-20, 2021.

“We are so proud of these students from across the country, who beat out thousands of other teens in order to take their state titles,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “We look forward to coming together next spring to finish out the competition and determine the 2020 National Champion team.”

LifeSmarts is an education and scholarship program run by the Washington, DC-based National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization. It competitively tests high school students’ consumer and personal finance knowledge. LifeSmarts is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in partnership programs with student leadership programs FBLA, 4-H, and FCCLA.

Long-time Indiana-based coach Diane Slaven, an instructor from Franklin County High School, was named the 2020 LifeSmarts Coach of the Year. In the words of the students who nominated Slaven:

Coach Diane Slaven and team in 2019“Mrs. Slaven sees LifeSmarts as an organization that teaches students things that they will need in their lives, that they aren’t necessarily exposed to in school. That is the reason why she is so invested and has given back to LifeSmarts as a coach for so many years. Mrs. Slaven is dedicated to the success of each student, not only in LifeSmarts but in our lives as well. Mrs. Slaven has led many teams to National Competitions throughout the years and has not failed to highly motivate and prepare each team. I think this says a lot about how caring and dedicated she is. She juggles the duties of LifeSmarts along with being department head of the business department. This year Mrs. Slaven is retiring, and is so deserving of this great honor due to everything she has given to us, and LifeSmarts throughout the years.”

In the 26 years that LifeSmarts has been educating high school and middle school teens on consumer issues, it has grown dramatically, with more than 3 million consumer questions answered at LifeSmarts.org in the online competition during the 2019-2020 program year.

“NCL’s LifeSmarts program is allowing us to rear a generation of consumer-savvy teenagers who often outsmart their parents on issues related to avoiding fraud, credit and debt, and complicated healthcare decisions,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg.

To learn more about the program, contact NCL’s Lisa Hertzberg at lisah@nclnet.org.

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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.

McKinley Tech High School Wins 2019 National Consumers League’s Washington, DC LifeSmarts Competition

March 3, 2020

Students will represent the District in the 26th Annual National LifeSmarts Championship in April

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

Washington, DC— LifeSmarts announced today that McKinley Tech High School’s Phoenixes Team was named the winner of the 2020 Washington, DC LifeSmarts Competition. The competition, hosted by the University of the District of Columbia David A Clarke School of Law, and the National Consumers League (NCL), tested local high school teams, comprised of teens in grades 9-12, about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology and consumer rights and responsibilities. McKinley Tech Phoenixes will represent Washington, DC at the 26th annual National LifeSmarts Championship in April in Crystal City, VA. Comcast, a sponsor of the competition, awarded the team a $5,000 scholarship for travel expenses. 

“We were very excited to host the competition for DC once again this year. Students learn valuable skills and become savvy consumers by showcasing their knowledge in LifeSmarts competitions,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director.

During the competition held Friday, February 21, local high school teams from Columbia Heights Educational Campus; McKinley Technical High School; and the UPO Power Program competed individually and in buzzer-style matches, answering questions about consumer issues that impact everyday life.

“LifeSmarts asks relevant, tough questions. Many adults don’t know the answers. LifeSmarts prepares young people to be stronger, more assertive participants in our economy. I’m proud of our DC LifeSmarts students,” said Bill Cocke, the Washington DC LifeSmarts Coordinator.

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About LifeSmarts

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators implement the program locally. For more information and to register a team, visit: 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. NCL’s mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information about NCL, visit nclnet.org.