National Consumers League

LifeSmarts is back! Launching 2017-2018 season of education and scholarship program

September 11, 2017

National student financial literacy competition opens 2017-18 season

Contact: Cindy Hoang, NCL Communications, (202) 207-2832 or cindyh@nclnet.org

Washington, DC–Today marks the official launch of the 24th 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 24th season of LifeSmarts,” said national Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “LifeSmarts gives students the skills they need to succeed as adults. We see students gain knowledge, confidence, leadership capabilities, and team-building skills. The competition is a lot of 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 2018 National LifeSmarts Championship will take place April 21-24 in San Diego. 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 23rd national event in Pittsburgh, PA. Dallas High was a returning champion, taking home the national title two years in a row.

In addition to 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.

  • 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.

  • New in 2017: the Sarah Weinberg Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a single student who demonstrates extraordinary community service work.

  • 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. During the 2016-17 program year, when a team from Kodiak, AK, signed up, LifeSmarts reached its 50th state.

“We are excited to continue to grow the LifeSmarts program into new states and regions, to continue to educate students about financial literacy, and to create a new generation of savvy, market-ready consumers and workers,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of NCL. “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 teachers 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: McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, LifeLock, Underwriters Laboratories, Western Union, Comcast NBC Universal, Experian, Intuit, American Express Company, 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.