LifeSmarts launches 2019-20 season with new scholarship, community service opportunities for teens

September 18, 2019

Millions of student leaders have gained real-world knowledge through the program 

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 2019-2020 season of LifeSmarts, with a new competition going live at LifeSmarts.org. LifeSmarts, a program of the National Consumers League (NCL), is 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. 

“We are very excited to launch this season of LifeSmarts,” said national Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “For more than 25 years, 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.” 

LifeSmarts focuses on five main content areas: 

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

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 2020 National LifeSmarts Championship will take place in the Washington, DC area April 25-28, 2020. Winning team members receive scholarships and other prizes. 

Last year, students answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions about credit reports, recycling, nutrition, social media, state lemon laws, and everything in between. In April, the LifeSmarts state champion team from Barrington, Rhode Island, took home top honors at the 25th anniversary event in Orlando, Florida.

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 Safety Smart Ambassadors, using LifeSmarts content and UL’s Safety Smart modules to present safety messages to younger children in their communities. 
  • 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. 
  • A new quest is open for middle school participants focusing on lithium ion button cell batteries and the risks and hazards they pose to young children. This team-building and leadership opportunity will culminate in a PSA contest among middle school LifeSmarts This project is sponsored by UL’s XPLORLABS, which helps students and teachers solve problems through science and engineering to become part of the movement to make the world a safer place.
  • Thanks to a long-standing partnership with Western Union, high school LifeSmarts participants have the opportunity to educate older citizens to avoid fraud. These LifeSmarts Fraud Ambassadors will highlight common advance-fee and fake check scams, demonstrating that education is the best protection against fraud.  
  • LifeSmarts student will win a $2,000 scholarship by writing the winning privacy essay in a contest sponsored by ITRC and CyberScout. 

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 25+ 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. 

Major LifeSmarts contributors include: Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Western Union, AARP, Comcast NBCUniversal, Sears Consumer Protection and Education Fund, American Express, Intuit, WSECU, CBM Credit Education Foundation, and 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.

Orlando to host 2019 National LifeSmarts Championship event April 13-16

April 12, 2019

25th annual national teen consumer literacy competition will feature 40 champion teams from across the country

For immediate release: April 12, 2019
Contact: Carol McKay, National Consumers League, carolm@nclnet.org, (724) 799-5392

Washington, DC — In celebration of Financial Literacy Month in April, the National Consumers League (NCL) has announced the 40 champion teams that have earned a spot at the 2019 National LifeSmarts Championship, which will take place starting tomorrow in Orlando, Florida. The event will kick off Saturday, April 13, at the B Resort and Spa in the Disney Springs Resort Area.

LifeSmarts (LifeSmarts.org), a national consumer literacy scholarship competition, is celebrating its 25th anniversary season this year and is hosted by NCL, the nation’s oldest consumer watchdog organization. The 2019 National LifeSmarts Champion team will be crowned on Tuesday, April 16.

Complete roster of state champions teams listed below.

LifeSmarts is a competitive educational and scholarship program, in which teams of students begin online. Top-scorers progress to their state competitions, and then state champion teams meet each April to compete in the National LifeSmarts Championship. This year’s state champion teams hail from as far away as from Honolulu, Hawaii, and from as nearby as Jacksonville.

Consumer-savvy teens representing 31 states, the District of Columbia, and eight wild card teams, will compete at this year’s national event. Throughout the 2018-2019 program year, more than 100,000 teens competed online for a chance to represent their states at the 2019 National LifeSmarts Championship. Players answered more than 3 million consumer questions in the online competition.

“We are so proud of this year’s state LifeSmarts champions, who have proven themselves to be the best and the brightest of the next generation of consumers,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director. “For 25 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 adults—are facing now: finances, health care, the environment, and technology.”

The 2019 National LifeSmarts Champion and other winning teams will walk away with prizes and 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 five individuals are recognized, as well as the recipients of specialized scholarships related to community service.

NCL thanks the sponsors who make the program possible including Comcast NBCUniversal, UL, Western Union, and Intuit.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY

Event kickoff + competition and weekend activities
When: Saturday, April 13, 2018 at 4:45 pm through Monday, April 16
Where: The B Resort and Spa, 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Final competitions

When: Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Matches begin: 9 am Eastern 
Awards Ceremony: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm Eastern
Where: The B Resort and Spa, 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Follow the competition online

Parents and teachers can follow the action at Facebook.com/LifeSmarts and via Twitter: #LifeSmarts
The semi-final and final competition matches will be streamed live at LifeSmarts.org onTuesday, April 16, 2019 starting at 9 am Eastern.

2019 LifeSmarts State Champions

AL-Central High School Tuscaloosa – Coach Roslyn Evans
AZ-Flagstaff Home Educators – Coach Christina Blanchard
CA-Abraham Lincoln High School – Coach Wendy Estrada
CO-Vista Ridge High School – Coach Sahvanna Mease
CT-Crosby High School – Coach Kelly Donohue
DC-McKinley Technology High School – Coach Sarah Elwell
DE-Salesianum School – Coach Maribeth Jaeske
FL-Duval County 4-H – Coach Meri Read
GA-Bartow County 4-H – Coach Kim Payne
HI-‘Iolani School – Coach James Rubasch
IL-West Chicago High School – Coach Don Zabelin
IN-Franklin County High School – Coach Diane Slaven
KS-Haven High School – Coach Vicki Galloway
KY-Webster County 4-H – Coach Wade Raymer
LA-Acadiana High School – Coach Stephanie Bennett
ME-Waynflete School – Coach Steve Withers
MI-Fenton High School – Coach Bruce Burwitz
MN-Willow River Area High School – Coach Melissa Johnson
MO-Buffalo High School – Coach Sara Gallivan
NC-Union Academy – Coach Kim Kirk
ND-Burke Central High School – Coach Erika Landro
NH-Mascoma Valley Regional High School – Coach Shawn Joyce
OK-Pryor High School – Coach Sharon Rash
PA-Dallas High School – Coach Kevin West
RI-Barrington High School – Coach Sam Schachter
TN-Marion County 4-H – Coach Vicki Lofty
TX-Hargrave High School – Coach Graceanna Simpson
VA-Massaponax High School – Coach Ginger Walters
WA-New Market Skills Center – Coach Stephanie Tocher
WI-Oconto High School – Coach Alissa Boucher
WV-John Marshall High School – Coach Megan Pintus
WY-Buffalo High School – Coach Kami Kennedy

Qualified for the LifeSmarts National Championship through an Automatic Bid process:

4-H Wild Card-Oconee County 4-H – Coach Allison Barnes
FBLA Wild Card-West Carteret High School – Coach Mark Thompson
FCCLA Wild Card-Selah High School – Coach Michelle McCartney
Varsity Wild Card 1-Midcities Montessori – Coach Cristina VanGilder
Varsity Wild Card 2-Chattooga County 4-H – Coach Rebecca Thomas
At-large Wild Card 1-Blair Oaks High School – Coach Linda Cumpton
At-large Wild Card 2-Henrico County 4-H – Coach Jennifer Raub
At-large Wild Card 3-Ritchie County High School – Coach Sonya Haught

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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 program awards scholarships to student leaders from Ellenboro, W.V., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Jefferson City, Mo., and Fredericksburg, Va.

February 26, 2019

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 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 (LifeSmarts.org). The students were awarded $1,000 academic scholarships for their 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. 

The scholarship winners are: 

  • Logan Hostuttler,Ritchie County High School, Ellenboro, W.V. (11th grade)  
  • AylaraOlcmen, Central High School Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (11th grade) 
  • Rebecca Peters, Massaponax High School, Fredericksburg, Va. (12th grade)  
  • Annette Peterson, Blair Oaks High School, Jefferson City, Mo. (12th grade)  
  • Dakota Wayne, Ritchie County High School, Ellenboro, W.V. (10th grade)  

 Since 2013, when the LifeSmarts UL partnership began, more than 350 LifeSmarts students have become Safety Smart Ambassadors. Working in teams, high school students have made more than 1,500 interactive 30-minute presentations sharing empowering and educational safety messages with thousands of younger 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. This year, LifeSmarts is celebrating its 25th anniversary season. 

“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.” 

“As part of our overall mission to create a safer world, UL has long been committed to increasing scientific literacy, discovery and student empowerment,” said Cara Gizzi, vice president, education and outreach for UL. This collaboration with LifeSmarts continues to strengthen our decades-long relationship with NCL and, work for positive change in the world while empowering the next generation of Safety Smart Ambassadors.” 

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 LifeSmarts.org/SafetySmart.  

Winter 2019 Safety Smart Ambassador award winners – in their own words  

“I think it is very important to teach our youth of the hidden dangers on the internet and teach them ways of how to keep themselves safe. This presentation was a great opportunity for both the presenter and the students attending to learn many new and exciting lessons on online safety.” – Hostuttler 

“I have taught with the Safety Smart program for two years. This year was a complete turn-around for me. I was interacting with the kids more, I scarcely held the script in my hand, I felt more confident, and lastly I really enjoyed myself.”  – Olcmen 

“Being able to explore a different part of my local community that I otherwise may not have been bold enough to approach has changed my perspective.” – Peters 

“I have gained so much confidence, giving me the ability to talk in front of people and do so much more today.  If I hadn’t been a part of this program and presented in front of these kids, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today.” – Peterson 

“I accomplished my goal of getting all the students involved and interacting. I had a great time spending time with these kids and I believe that they really enjoyed us being there to teach them.” – Wayne   

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

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 nclnet.org. 

About UL 

UL fosters safe living and working conditions for people everywhere through the application of science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. Our nonprofit parent organization engages in standards development, scientific research, education and public outreach activities. Our commercial businesses test, inspect, audit, certify, validate, verify, advise and train and we support these efforts with software solutions for safety and sustainability. The UL Mark engenders trust, enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion for making the world a safer place. To learn more about the work of our education and outreach group, visit Education.UL.org. To learn more about our business solutions, visit UL.com.

McKinley Technology High School wins 2019 National Consumers League’s Washington, DC LifeSmarts Competition

February 25, 2019

Students will compete in the 25th annual National LifeSmarts Championship in Orlando, FL in April

Media 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 Technology High School was named the winner of the 2019 Washington, DC LifeSmarts Competition. The competition, hosted on February 22 by the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the National Consumers League (NCL), tested local high school teams, comprised by teens in grades 9-12, about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology and consumer rights and responsibilities. McKinley Technology High School will represent Washington, DC at the 25th annual National LifeSmarts Championship in April in Orlando, FL. 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 last Friday, February 22, local high school teams from Columbia Heights Educational Campus, Friendship PCS Technology Preparatory High School, McKinley Technology 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 co-coordinator.

“Congratulations to the McKinley Technology High School team on your impressive display of real-world consumer knowledge,” said Stacy Burnette, Senior Director, Government & Regulatory Affairs for Comcast’s Beltway Region. “Comcast is committed to strengthening our communities through academic achievement programs and is honored to help these students further their education.” 

The winning team is coached by Sarah Elwell, and students include Team Captain Abenezer Lemma, MarQia Allen, Selam Bulti, David Hounyo, and Natural Taylor. McKinley Technology High School has taken the DC LifeSmarts title in previous years and sent students to national championships, but this is the first year the entire team of seniors have participated in LifeSmarts.

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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.

LifeSmarts launches 25th anniversary season of consumer literacy education, competition, scholarship opportunities

September 27, 2018

1.5 million students have gained real-world knowledge through the program

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 25th season of LifeSmarts, with a new competition going live at the online home of the program, LifeSmarts.org. LifeSmarts, a program of the National Consumers League (NCL), is a national scholarship competition and educational program for middle-school and high-school students that tests knowledge of real-life consumer issues and aims to create a future generation of consumer-savvy adults.

“We are very excited to launch our 25th season of LifeSmarts,” said national Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “For 25 years, 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 lifelong.”

LifeSmarts focuses on five main content areas: consumer rights and responsibilities, personal finance, technology, health and safety, and the environment. 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 advance to the national championship held each year in a different American city. The 2019 National LifeSmarts Championship will take place April 13-16 in Orlando, Florida. Winning team members receive scholarships and other prizes.

Last year, students answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions about credit reports, recycling, nutrition, social media, state lemon laws, and everything in between. By being consumer savvy and quick on the buzzers, the LifeSmarts team from Dallas High School in Dallas, PA, took home top honors at the 24th annual national event in San Diego. Dallas High was a returning champion, taking home the national title three years in a row.

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 January.
  • Classroom mentor programs: Five $1,000 scholarships are awarded each winter to winning LifeSmarts students who become Safety Smart Ambassadors, using LifeSmarts content to present safety messages to younger children in their communities.
  • Partnering with FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), LifeSmarts offers special competitive events for student members of both student leadership organizations. FBLA and FCCLA team members have the opportunity to compete for cash prizes, trophies, and other honors.

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 25 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.

Major LifeSmarts contributors include: Johnson & Johnson, Underwriters Laboratories, Western Union, Comcast NBC Universal, Experian, Intuit, American Express Company, Microsoft, and others.

Visit LifeSmarts.org for more information.

LifeSmarts: Learn it. Live it.

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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.

 

 

LifeSmarts launches 25th anniversary season of consumer literacy education, competition, scholarship opportunities – National Consumers League

September 17, 2018

1.5 million students have gained real-world knowledge through the program

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 25th season of LifeSmarts, with a new competition going live at the online home of the program, LifeSmarts.org. LifeSmarts, a program of the National Consumers League (NCL), is a national scholarship competition and educational program for middle-school and high-school students that tests knowledge of real-life consumer issues and aims to create a future generation of consumer-savvy adults.

“We are very excited to launch our 25th season of LifeSmarts,” said national Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “For 25 years, 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 lifelong.”

LifeSmarts focuses on five main content areas: consumer rights and responsibilities, personal finance, technology, health and safety, and the environment. 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 advance to the national championship held each year in a different American city. The 2019 National LifeSmarts Championship will take place April 13-16 in Orlando, Florida. Winning team members receive scholarships and other prizes.

Last year, students answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions about credit reports, recycling, nutrition, social media, state lemon laws, and everything in between. By being consumer savvy and quick on the buzzers, the LifeSmarts team from Dallas High School in Dallas, PA, took home top honors at the 24th annual national event in San Diego. Dallas High was a returning champion, taking home the national title three years in a row.

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 January.
  • Classroom mentor programs: Five $1,000 scholarships are awarded each winter to winning LifeSmarts students who become Safety Smart Ambassadors, using LifeSmarts content to present safety messages to younger children in their communities.
  • Partnering with FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), LifeSmarts offers special competitive events for student members of both student leadership organizations. FBLA and FCCLA team members have the opportunity to compete for cash prizes, trophies, and other honors.

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 25 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.

Major LifeSmarts contributors include: Johnson & Johnson, Underwriters Laboratories, Western Union, Comcast NBC Universal, Experian, Intuit, American Express Company, Microsoft, and others.

Visit LifeSmarts.org for more information.

LifeSmarts: Learn it. Live it.

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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.

LifeSmarts recognizes student scholarship recipients from ‘Year of Health and Safety’ project – National Consumers League

August 14, 2018

Media 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 consumer literacy educational program and scholarship opportunity for students in grades 6-12, has announced this year’s student leaders who have been awarded scholarships for their outstanding participation in the LifeSmarts OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring Project, a program offered during LifeSmarts’ Year of Health and Safety.

The OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring Project was unveiled in 2017 and offered as a community service opportunity to this year’s LifeSmarts participants and was underwritten by a grant from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Through the program, LifeSmarts provided materials and curriculum, bolstered by educational resources produced by Scholastic, that enabled high school students to become mentors for middle school students to help them understand the wise use and safe storage of over-the-counter medicines.

“We are so pleased with the success of the ‘Year of Health and Safety’ and the OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring Project,” said national LifeSmarts 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 were thrilled to see our students participate in this program and the enthusiasm and creativity they exhibited in serving as student mentors to pre-teens on these crucial health and safety lessons.”

2018 Safety Mentoring Scholarship Winners

More than 500 LifeSmarts students participated in the program making presentations and holding events that reached tens of thousands of middle school students and community members across the country. Student participants submitted applications about their experiences to the National Consumers League. Scholarship criteria included the number of presentations, community impact, and a personal reflective statement, with the winners receiving a $1,000 post-secondary education scholarship. This year’s recipients are:

  • Victoria Lowrance: LaFayette, GA (12th grade)
  • Samantha Martinez: Waterbury, CT (10th grade)
  • Kejsi Ozuni: Waterbury, CT (10th grade)
  • Raymond Perez: Dallas, PA (11th grade)
  • Hannah Wolfe: Dallas, PA (10th grade)

Besides health and safety, LifeSmarts focuses on four other main content areas: consumer rights and responsibilities, personal finance, technology, and the environment. 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 advance to the national championship held each year in a different American city. The 2018 National LifeSmarts Championship took place April 21-24 in San Diego, where the state champion team from Pennsylvania was declared this year’s national champion team. Scholarship recipients Raymond Perez and Hannah Wolfe were on this year’s national champion team.

Last year, students answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions about credit reports, recycling, nutrition, social media, state lemon laws, and everything in between. More than 140,000 students participated in the program in the 2017-18 season. LifeSmarts is active in all states and the District of Columbia, where NCL is headquartered.

“Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. is proud to be a long-standing supporter of the LifeSmarts program and thrilled about the OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring project. As a manufacturer of over-the-counter medicines, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. believes that the LifeSmarts OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring Project can help instill a healthy respect for all medicines in adolescents by teaching core concepts on the responsible use and safe storage of medicines. In doing so, we are building a healthier future for our adolescents, and helping to prevent medicine misuse, errors, and adverse events,” said Ed Kuffner M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Johnson & Johnson Consumer.

Visit LifeSmarts.org for more information.

LifeSmarts: Learn it. Live it.

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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.

 

 

San Diego to host 2018 National LifeSmarts Championship event April 21-24 – National Consumers League

April 17, 2018

24th annual national teen consumer literacy competition will feature 33 state champion teams

For immediate release: April 17, 2018
Contact: Carol McKay, National Consumers League, carolm@nclnet.org, (724) 799-5392

Washington, DC — In celebration of Financial Literacy Month in April, the National Consumers League (NCL) has announced the 33 state champion teams that have earned a spot at the 2018 National LifeSmarts Championship, which will take place starting later this month in San Diego, California. The event will kick off Saturday, April 21, at 5 pm at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa.

LifeSmarts (LifeSmarts.org) is a national consumer literacy scholarship competition, celebrating its 24th season this year, hosted by NCL, the nation’s oldest consumer watchdog organization. The 2018 National LifeSmarts Champion team will be crowned on Tuesday, April 24.

Complete roster of state champions teams available here and listed below.

LifeSmarts is a competitive educational and scholarship program, in which teams of students begin online. Top-scorers progress to their state competitions, and then state champion teams meet each April to compete in the National LifeSmarts Championship. This year’s state champion teams hail from as far away as from Portland, Maine, and from as nearby as Los Angeles.

Consumer-savvy teens representing 30 states, the District of Columbia, and two wild card teams, will compete at this year’s national event. Throughout the 2017-2018 program year, more than 100,000 teens competed online for a chance to represent their states at the 2018 National LifeSmarts Championship. Players answered more than 3 million consumer questions in the online competition.

“We are so proud of this year’s state LifeSmarts champions, who have proven themselves to be the best and the brightest of the next generation of consumers,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director. “LifeSmarts is fun, engaging, and the perfect vehicle for educating young consumers. Our program goes in-depth on the issues kids—and adults—are facing now: finances, health care, the environment, and technology.”

The 2018 National LifeSmarts Champion and other winning teams will walk away with prizes and 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 five individuals are recognized.

This season, LifeSmarts celebrated “The Year of Health and Safety,” focusing on health-related resources, learning activities, and special competitive opportunities, underwritten by a grant from Johnson & Johnson. This season, LifeSmarts unveiled the LifeSmarts OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring Project as a community service opportunity for its high school student participants to become mentors for middle school students on the wise use and safe storage of over-the- counter medicines. At the national event, NCL will award scholarships to winning participants from the Mentoring Project.

NCL thanks the sponsors who make the program possible including Johnson & Johnson, Comcast NBCUniversal, UL, Western Union, American Express, Experian, and Intuit.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY

Event kickoff + weekend activities
When: Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 5 pm through Monday, April 23
Where: Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa, 1775 East Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, 92109

Final competitions

When: Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Matches begin: 9 am Pacific
Awards Ceremony: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm Pacific
Where: Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa, 1775 East Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, 92109

Follow the competition online

Parents and teachers can follow the action at Facebook.com/LifeSmarts and via Twitter: #LifeSmarts
The semi-final and final competition matches will be streamed live at LifeSmarts.org onTuesday, April 24, 2018 starting at 9 am Pacific Time

2018 LifeSmarts State Champions

Alabama (Tuscaloosa): Central High School, Coach: Roslyn Evans
Arizona (Flagstaff): Flagstaff Home Educators, Coach: Christina Blanchard
California (Los Angeles): Lincoln High School, Coach: Wendy Estrada
Colorado (Colorado Springs): Vista Ridge High School, Coach: Sahvanna Mease
Connecticut (Waterbury): Crosby High School, Coach: Kelly Donohue
Delaware (Wilmington): Salesianum School, Coach: George Horn
District of Columbia: McKinley Technology High School, Coach: Sarah Elwell
Florida (Jacksonville): Paxon School for Advanced Studies, Coach: Melissa Decker
Georgia (Douglasville): Douglas County 4-H, Coach: Rose Smith
Hawaii (Honolulu): Iolani School, Coach: James Rubasch
Illinois (West Chicago): West Chicago High School, Coach: Don Zabelin
Indiana (Brookville): Franklin County High School, Coach: Diana Slaven
Kansas (Wichita): Maize South High School, Coach: Jean Conkling
Louisiana (Lafayette): Acadiana High School, Coach: Stephanie Bennett
Maine (Portland): Wayneflete School, Coach: Steve Withers
Massachusetts (Milton): Milton High School, Coach: Paul Arenburg
Michigan (Fenton): Fenton High School, Coach: Bruce Burwitz
Minnesota (Lake Crystal): Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Secondary School, Coach: Michelle Missling
Missouri (Jefferson City): Blair Oaks High School, Coach: Linda Cumpton
New Hampshire (Canaan): Mascoma Valley Regional High School, Coach: Shawn Joyce
North Carolina (Morehead City): West Carteret High School, Coach: Mark Thompson
North Dakota (Jamestown): Jamestown High School, Coach: Marchel Krieger
Oklahoma (Pryor): Pryor High School, Coach: Sharon Rash
Pennsylvania (Dallas): Dallas High School, Coach: Kevin West
Rhode Island (Barrington): Barrington High School, Coach: Samuel Schachter
Texas (Mesquite): John Horn High School, Coach: Brenda Breedlove
Virginia (Fredericksburg): Massaponax High School, Coach: Ginger Walters
Washington (Olympia): Capital High School, Coach: Katie Turcotte
West Virginia (Ellenboro): Ritchie County High School, Coach: Sonya Haught
Wisconsin (Oconto): Oconto High School, Coach: Scot Neu
Wyoming (Buffalo): Buffalo High School, Coach: Kami Kennedy 

Qualified for the LifeSmarts National Championship through the Automatic Bid process:

Wild Card #1: Liberty County 4-H, Hinesville, Georgia, Coach: Gypsy Tart
Wild Card #2: Walker County 4-H, LaFayette, Georgia, Coach: Casey Hobbs

 

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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.

Florida takes national LifeSmarts title in 2015 – National Consumers League

This post originally appeared on LifeSmarts.org. LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League.

What an exciting conclusion to our 21st year! Florida topped Rhode Island by the slimmest of margins – just 2 points – to win the National LifeSmarts Championship last week in Seattle, WA.

Congratulations to coach Kathy Loggie and her LifeSmarts team from Paxon School for Advanced Studies in Jacksonville, Florida. Team members Harrison Andrew, Joseph Cain, Aaron Routzong, Evan Spaulding, and Captain Nicholas Pellegrino are to be commended for the consumer smarts they demonstrated throughout competition.

Team members each received $1,000 post-secondary education scholarships from Amazon.com and Western Union, and Microsoft Surface Tablets.

I also want to commend the other top-placing teams who competed deep into the national championship:

Second Place: Rhode Island; Barrington High School, Barrington, RI

Coach: Samuel Schachter

Captain: Matthew Lamontagne; Team members: Steven Forte, Brian McGartoll, Teddy Ni, and Eli Shea

Third Place: Hawaii; ‘Iolani High School, Honolulu, HI

Coach: James Rubasch

Captain: Justus Wataru; Team members: Noah Asada, Matthew Azama, Norton Kishi, Bailey Sylvester

Third Place (tied): Michigan; Fenton High School, Fenton, MI

Coach: Bruce Burwitz, Co-coach: Andy Cocagne

Captain: Jacob Goodman; Team members: Andrew Celini, Katherine Hiller, Kelsey Krause, Zachary Williams

To begin to appreciate the broad consumer knowledge students gain by participating in LifeSmarts, here are a few of the questions the Florida and Rhode Island teams tackled in the national finals:

  1. When college students apply for financial aid, they should complete this form to determine their family’s expected contribution to their education: (Answer: FAFSA; Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  2. Why is texting while driving considered the most dangerous form of distracted driving? (Answer: It requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver; drivers have to take their eyes, hands, and mind off of the road)
  3. How do consumers react when consumer confidence is going up? (Answer: Consumers spend more freely)
  4. Name one advantage of using DRM? (Answer: Fights copyright infringement; helps ensure digital content is legitimate)
  5. Harmful “germs” or disease-causing microorganisms are called: (Answer: Pathogens)
  6. Name two ways consumers can help conserve water in the yard: (Answers: Irrigate more efficiently; use water-wise plants; improve the soil; harvest rainwater; use graywater instead of potable water on plants; design a more water-efficient landscape)

We often remind students and coaches that they are all winners in LifeSmarts. We sincerely believe it. I hope that the journey to learning more about consumer issues has been a fantastic one for all of our competitors this year!

Remember: LifeSmarts resources remain available year-round at LifeSmarts.org, and competition begins again after Labor Day!

The LifeSmarts Safety Smart connection – National Consumers League

This post originally appeared on LifeSmarts.org. LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League.

For the past two years LifeSmarts has partnered with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) on its Safety Smart® Ambassador program to provide a way for LifeSmarts students to give back through community service. LifeSmarts students become Safety Smart Ambassadors by delivering interactive safety messages to younger children in their communities.

We predicted that the program would be a hit, and that our Ambassadors would learn right along with the children they mentored. We were right on both counts!

Last year LifeSmarts participants in 20 states became Safety Smart Ambassadors. They made more than 200 presentations, educating 4,000 young children.

One Ambassador told us, “Safety Smart is truly an amazing program…  The children that I have had the honor to teach were so interested and appreciative of the information I conveyed via this program.  This program was not only beneficial to the children, but to me as well as I have learned to be confident and assertive in front of people, whether age 5 or 50.”

Our appreciation to UL for this opportunity was summed up by one of our Ambassadors who said, “I want to say thank you to Underwriters Laboratories for getting to do the wonderful Safety Smart program.”

Become a Safety Smart Ambassador!

The resources provided by UL and LifeSmarts make this program easy to use – beginning with the coach lessons plan, a logistics checklist, videos featuring Timon and Pumbaa from Disney’s The Lion King, and four step-by-step lessons that are fun and easy to teach. Titles include:

  • Goes Green!
  • Healthy & Fit
  • Online!
  • Honest & Real!

In a nutshell

The Safety Smart Ambassador program is:

  • Quick and easy: each lesson is designed as a 30-minute presentation
  • Fun: Timon and Pumbaa resonate with young children
  • Educational: Everyone learns
  • Satisfying: LifeSmarts participants give back, serve as mentors, and demonstrate leadership
  • A great fit: The program helps you meet service learning and community service requirements
  • Turnkey: Everything you need is in one place

Wait, there’s more! Apply soon for LifeSmarts Safety Smart scholarships

Four motivated LifeSmarts students who become Safety Smart Ambassadors will win $750 post-secondary education scholarships. To apply, students complete the scholarship application  and submit it with a PowerPoint that highlights their Safety Smart presentations. Ambassadors will illustrate what they learned and what the younger children gained from the Safety Smart Ambassador experience.

Applications for the LifeSmarts Safety Smart scholarships are due by 5 p.m. Eastern, Friday, April 11, 2015. Students may submit an application based on presentations made from May 1, 2014, through April 11, 2015.

Scholarships will be announced on April 18 at the National LifeSmarts Championship in Seattle, WA. Students do not need to attend Nationals to be eligible. All LifeSmarts students in grades 9-12 may apply.

For more information

Visit the Safety Smart page on the LifeSmarts Web site or contact Lisa Hertzberg, LifeSmarts Program Director: lisah@nclnet.org.