We're well into our 15th season of LifeSmarts, NCL's awesome, competitive program that teaches teens (and now middle school students too!) real-life consumer skills. Our Internet-based, quiz-style format has been lighting up classrooms and after-school teams for the last few months, and many state programs are preparing to host their in-person competitions in the next couple months. In fact, the early bird state of New Jersey has already determined what team will represent their state at the 2009 National LifeSmarts Championship in St. Louis, April 25-28: the team from John P. Stevens High School in Edison, NJ. This just in: today we ran across this article in The Roanoke Times about the Virginia state LifeSmarts program. The article includes a great quote from the Virginia State Coordinator, Celia Ray Hayhoe, who organizes the program in her role as a Virginia Cooperative Extension family resource management specialist at Virginia Tech: "With LifeSmarts, teens learn to avoid common consumer pitfalls, navigate government, and understand credit-card jargon before they sign the dotted line," said Hayhoe. It's true! LifeSmarts teaches teens how to be a savvy consumer before they have to learn those lessons the hard way, like many of their parents' generation has. What better time than now to be giving our youngest generation of consumers a leg-up, eh?