National Consumers League

Rhode Island takes 2019 National LifeSmarts Championship at 25th anniversary event in Orlando


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April 16, 2019

Contact: National Consumers League, Carol McKay, (724) 799-5392, carolm@nclnet.org

Orlando, FL—The student team from Barrington, RI, coached by Sam Schachter, unseated the returning champs from Dallas, PA, to be crowned the 2019 national champions in Orlando at the 25th annual National LifeSmarts Championship. In an exciting match against the three-time champion team from Dallas High School, the teens from Barrington High School outplayed their opponents in an exciting end to the four-day competition.

Barrington High School’s team roster includes Captain Daniel Sheinberg and his teammates Jonathan Zhang, Annika Kelly, CJ Hilty, and Willis Bilderback. Dallas High School students won the national title in 2016, 2017, and 2018 National Championships. 

Teams from Illinois and Wyoming placed third.

“We are so proud of these students from Rhode Island, who represented their state program with class and pride to take the championship,” 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, 4H, and FCCLA.

Teens from each of the 39 champion teams represented at nationals competed as individuals, and the top five scorers received scholarships from NCL. This year’s winners were:

  • Environment: Jayson Guo, Hawaii
  • Personal Finance: Daniel Sheinberg, Rhode Island
  • Health and Safety: Annika Kelly, Rhode Island
  • Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Willis Bilderback, Rhode Island
  • Technology: Clement Hilty, Rhode Island

James Alwin from Oconto High School in Wisconsin and Annette Peterson from Blair Oaks High School in Missouri were named the 2019 Students of the Year. Roslyn Evans (Alabama) and Shawn Joyce (NH) were named LifeSmarts Coaches of the Year. Long-time State Coordinator Will Rance, from Washington, 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 25 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 LifeSmarts.org in the online competition during the 2018-2019 program year.

At the event in Orlando, NCL also announced winners of several other scholarships and contests. Annika Kelly won first place in a privacy-related essay contest sponsored by LifeSmarts and the Identity Theft Resource Center. Runners-up included: Clement Hilty (RI), Matthew Loynes (NC), Austin Dial (TX), Brady Tappel (MO), and Alex Hey (IL).

NCL also announced the winners of the Safety Smart Ambassador scholarships, given to students who participated in the health and safety-related youth mentoring program sponsored by LifeSmarts and UL. Winners included: Luke Maycumber (AZ), Austin Dial (TX), Alexis McBride (FL), Emmy Dehner (IN), and Hannah Wolfe (PA).

The Sarah Weinberg Memorial Scholarship, given to students who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to community service, was awarded this year to Everett Charles from Kentucky.

For team photos, event schedules, grid standings, and more, log on to www.facebook.com/LifeSmarts

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.

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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. For more information, visit: www.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.