National Consumers League

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.