National Consumers League

Pennsylvania takes 2016 National LifeSmarts title in Denver


April 12, 2016

Contact: National Consumers League, Carol McKay, (724) 799-5392,

Denver, CO—The student team from Dallas, PA, coached by Kevin West, was crowned national LifeSmarts champions in Denver on Tuesday, April 12 at the 22nd annual National LifeSmarts Championship. In a tight final match against the returning champs from Jacksonville, FL, the teens from Dallas High School outplayed their opponents in an exciting end to the 4-day competition. The Florida team, from Paxon School for Advanced Studies, coached by Kathie Loggie, held the national title in 2015 and 2013.

Teams from Honolulu, Hawaii, and Coffee County, Tennessee placed third.

"We are so proud of these students from Pennsylvania, who represented their state program with class and pride," 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 the environment. LifeSmarts is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in partnership programs with student leadership programs FBLA and FCCLA.

Teens from each of the 33 state champion teams represented at nationals competed as individuals, and the top five scorers received scholarships from NCL. This year’s winners were:

  • Environment: Michael Lamontagne, Rhode Island
  • Personal Finance: Alyssa Simoes, Connecticut
  • Health and Safety: Ethan Epstein, Virginia
  • Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Eli Shea, Rhode Island
  • Technology: Chris Biesecker, Pennsylvania

Taylor Heslop, from Kansas, and Brandon Mahsetky from California, were named the 2016 Students of the Year. Donna Mancuso, from Crosby High School in Connecticut, and Coach West, from Dallas High School in Pennsylvania, were named LifeSmarts Coaches of the Year. Long-time State Coordinator Jim Hedemark, from Rhode Island, earned the Coordinator of the Year honor.

“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. In the 22 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 in the online competition during the 2015-2016 program year.

For team photos, event schedules, grid standings, and more, log on to

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. To learn more about the program, contact NCL's Lisa Hertzberg at 202-835-3323.


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:, email 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