Monday, May 9, 2011

Congratulations individual topic winners!

The 2011 LifeSmarts National Championship in Hollywood, CA was a great success! Thanks to everyone who helped 2011 be such an incredible program year! However, we couldn’t let 2011 come to a close without acknowledging our individual topic winners. For the second year at the National LifeSmarts Championship, teens from each of the 33 state champion teams represented at nationals competed in individual topic area challenges, and the top five scorers received $500 scholarships from NCL.

This year’s winners were:

Environment: Maura Taylor, MD
Personal finance: Brian Vermillion, FL
Health & safety: Austin Hart, NH
Consumer rights & responsibilities: Jordy Shute, AZ
Technology: Robert Dickens, MD

Congratulations guys! Hope to see you next year!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rubbing elbows in Hollywood

From New Hampshire team coach Chuck Bates:

The 2011 NH LifeSmarts Champs got to see the Jay Leno show Friday night. We met and shook hands with guests Actress Susan Lucci, Actor Rob Lowe, Tonight Show Band Director Ricky Miner, and Musician Moby. As we were getting ready to leave, we happened to see Jay heading upstairs; after calling out hello and mentioning that we were from New Hampshire, Jay came right down to to say hello and allowed us to take several pictures and chat with us . I've attached the best one.

In the photo are: my daughter Lisa, team members Galen, Sven, Teddy, Captain Cody, Assistant Coach Tim Quinney, Austin, Jay Leno, my wife Sue, and of course me (Chuck Bates).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kansas takes title!

The team from Nickerson High School defeated New Hampshire's Inter-Lakes High in a nail-biting match, 214-151!

Monday, May 2, 2011

State standings at the start of day 3

Day 2 team standings are up!

The results from today's competitions are in and the results have been posted! Click here to view all the state scores.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thank you, Seth Woods!

The LifeSmarts program staff would like to extend a big thank you to NCL Board Member and program consultant, Seth Woods. Seth brings invaluable insight and experience to LifeSmarts as a four-year high school participant who represented Kentucky at the LifeSmarts National Championships of 2002 and 2004. Seth’s Southern charm and continued dedication to the program are greatly appreciated. Be sure to introduce yourself at the registration desk!

Seth explains competition scoring to a rapt audience

Competition officials put their own “LifeSmarts” to the test

A group of program officials made up of NCL board members, sponsors, and topic area experts, were put in students' shoes this afternoon when they were forced to navigate the competition’s complex rulebook in preparation for overseeing the day’s events. More than a few officials could stand to learn a few things from our student champions, some adults could only scratch their heads in response to competition questions . . .

Competition officials put their consumer and financial savvy to the test

Vote for your favorite T-shirt!

Be sure to vote for your favorite team designed t-shirts at the registration desk. There will be two prize winners: the Judges' Selection and the People's Choice Award.

The lovely Miss Tee shows off of an LA inspired design

A sampling of this year's designs

LifeSmarts competitors point to their favorite designs

Check out the photo album of all the championship teams!

Click here to view the album of photos from all 33 national championship teams

The results from day 1 are posted!

The results from yesterday's team assessment are in and the results have been posted! Click here to view all the state scores.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Let the games begin!

The teams have landed, team activities have begun , and the competition is officially underway! Remember to turn in your coach of the year forms by 1pm tomorrow at the registration desk and don't forget to check the online scoreboard here to keep track of your team progress!

LifeSmarts participants register with Miss Tee

South Carolina celebrates being in LA

New Hampshire shows off LifeSmarts' five program areas

Team captains prepare to lead their teams to victory

Michigan goes over championship rules with Emily Stevenson

A member of the Student Advisory Panel shares his ideas for growing the LifeSmarts program

NCL Board Member Ted Debro welcomes the 2011 teams

Much thanks to all our sponsors

The LifeSmarts program wouldn't be possible without generous contributions from all our sponsors. The 2011 LifeSmarts National Championship is sponsored by:


Lead Sponsor
Western Union

LifeSmarts Champion
McNeil Consumer Healthcare

Team Builder
Toyota Financial Services

Question Master
Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC

American Express

CBM Credit Education

Members from the Hawaii team sign sponsor thank you cards

Summer Institute application

We need your help! This summer, LifeSmarts is holding a Summer Institute for coaches interested in strengthening the program by drafting new content. Click here to view the application.

Follow the championship action online!

This year, we created an online scoreboard so you can follow the action in real time. Click here to view.

Registration sign-in sheet

We want to keep in touch with you! Please fill out this form when you register by clicking here

Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome to California!

Let the games begin! The LifeSmarts team has officially landed in warm, sunny Universal City, CA! The 2011 National LifeSmarts Championship kicks off tomorrow. See you tomorrow at the registration desk starting at 12pm- be sure to get your team photo taken!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Championship! Hollywood! Trivia!

Only three more days until the start of the 2011 LifeSmarts National Championship! With teams from 33 states headed to LA this weekend, let’s take a look at some Hollywood trivia:

  • In 1923, Harry Chandler, a real estate agent and investor built the famous Hollywood Sign to advertise the area "Hollywoodland." The total expense for this advertisement was $21,000. Initially, it was built to last for only eighteen months. The Hollywood sign is no eighty-eight years old.

  • As the sign wasn’t designed to be permanent, after a time, letters began to fall down. To restore the sign, in 1978, an auction of certain letters was held by Hugh Hefner, founder of "Playboy" magazine. This auction was held for a period of three months. Alice Cooper, American rock singer, sponsored the alphabet "O". Gene Autry and Paul Williams sponsored the alphabets "L" and "W" respectively.

  • In 1995, a trust known as "Hollywood Sign Trust" was setup to maintain the Hollywood sign.

  • The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a series of sidewalks along both sides of a 15-block segment of Hollywood Boulevard and a 3-block segment of Vine Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA that serves as a permanent public monument to achievements in the entertainment industry.

  • More than 2,400 5-pointed terrazzo and brass stars are embedded at 6-foot intervals over a combined 1.7 miles .

  • To date, 47% of the stars have been awarded in the motion pictures category, 24% in television, 17% in audio recording, 10% in radio, and less than 2% in the live performance category.

  • Twenty to thirty new stars, on average, are added to the Walk each year.

  • Spago, a West Hollywood restaurant, was the birthplace of the “California Designer Pizza.”

  • The iconic Capitol Records building on Vine St has a blinking light on the top of it’s tower that spells out "Hollywood" in Morse code, and has done so since the building's opening in 1956

Looking forward to greeting all of you on the 30th!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NCL gives a special thanks to Visa

The LifeSmarts program has a lot to be thankful for this year—consumer-savvy teens representing 33 states will compete at this year’s national event later this week in Hollywood. Program participation throughout the 2010-2011 year has been excellent: more than 22,000 teens answered more than 3 million consumer questions online for a chance to represent their states at the 2011 National LifeSmarts Championship.

Looking towards the future, LifeSmarts shows every sign of growing bigger and better than ever. Visa recently announced a three-year major grant to help underwrite the program, sponsor development of personal finance lessons and teaching tools, increase marketing efforts for LifeSmarts, and bolster NCL’s outreach on consumer fraud. With Visa’s help, LifeSmarts is looking forward to providing future generations of teens with the skills and knowledge they will need to successfully navigate the increasingly complex consumer landscape.

Thanks, Visa!

Friday, April 22, 2011

MA champions!

The winning MA team from Palmer High School, whose innovative fundraising technique we shared last week, just sent over some great photos from their state competition at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston:

Palmer High celebrating the win

Palmer team with coach Helena Naglack

Team members passing around that shiny new trophy

Monday, April 18, 2011

Greetings from Gabbi, 2010 RI state Champion

The Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition sent us this video featuring Gabrielle Sclafani, a 2010 RI state champion who was awarded the first ever Consumer Rights & Responsibilities scholarship last year in Miami Beach. Gabbi talks about her experience at last year's national championship and gives this year's participants an idea of what they can expect! She is currently a freshman at Brown University in Providence, RI where she is majoring in Literary Arts. The LifeSmarts program is so proud of her, we always love hearing from our past competitors!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Join us! Be a part of the student advisory panel

Hey Guys,

We are still recruiting participants for our LifeSmarts Student Advisory Panel! If you will be at this year's national competition in Hollywood and are interested in meeting with your peers to talk about what you love about LifeSmarts click the link below to apply!

We extended the deadline by another week so be sure to apply by April 19th!

Monday, April 11, 2011

LifeSmarts teams in the news

Congratulations to the Arizona team from Flagstaff, who were featured in a great Arizona Daily Sun article cleverly titled “Fab Five headed to Hollywood

Left to right: Scott, Jordy, Moriah, Grant, Aaron

The winning Massachusetts team from Palmer High School has come up with an innovative fundraising technique (hint: it involves lawn ornaments). Click here to read about it. What are other teams doing to raise money?

See you both in a few weeks!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Calling all LifeSmarts students: We need your help!

The LifeSmarts Program is asking for help from those who know it the best: its student participants! In the interest of creating the best LifeSmarts program possible, we are creating a Student Advisory Board and are calling on committed, capable, and creative teens to be part of this exciting new venture. What better place to start than with those of you will be traveling to the National Competition in Los Angeles? We want to capture all your enthusiasm and ideas for keeping the program lively, relevant, and growing.

The Advisory Board will be a select group of student leaders working together, sharing ideas and brainstorming new ways LifeSmarts can reach out to youth. There are twelve Board positions; freshmen through seniors are invited to apply. The Board will meet in-person at nationals, and through Live Meeting and conference calls 3-4 times during the year. Students must be willing to network with other members to accomplish assigned tasks.

If you are interested, the first step is to complete the online LifeSmarts Student Advisory Board Application. The application can be found at and the deadline for completion is April 19, 2011.

This is a wonderful opportunity for students to make a difference in LifeSmarts, take a leadership role, and build a resume!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Can't Meet Us in Hollywood? Follow the Action Online!

Even if you can’t join the National Consumers League and the LifeSmarts state champions in Hollywood for the 2011 National LifeSmarts Championship, you can still catch the action online!

Nationals Blog

At, NCL will provide frequently updated content, like team photos, stories, and a regularly updated competition grid, so you can chart your team’s progress from home!

Live Streaming!

This year, watch the final morning of competition live online at!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Semi-finals- 9 am Pacific Daylight * 12 noon Eastern Daylight
Finals- 10:45 am PDT * 1:45 EDT

Stay tuned in to this blog and to keep up with this year's excitement!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Meet the teams headed to Hollywood!

Happy April! Now that state competitions have officially come to a close, here is the list of teams that will be showing off their consumer savvy in sunny California just 29 short days from now:

Straughn High School
Sherri Williams, Coach
Zachary Williams, Captain
Ryan Williams
Dallas Ham
Michael Hudson
Chris Gay

Flagstaff Home Educators
Jennifer Bearchell, Coach
Emily Bearchell, Asst. Coach
Jordy Shute, Captain
Scott Bearchell
Grant Wiseman
Moriah Parks
Aaron Parks

Crosby High School
Donna Mancuso, Coach
Hafsa Khanum, Captain
Xhensila Spahiu
Devlin Anes
Latrice Grant
Jason Boucher

Salesianum School
George Horn, Coach
Steve Gilcrest, Captain
Phil Bale
Kevin O'Connor
Joe Richards
T.J. James

District of Columbia
Ideal Academy PCS
Michael Johnson, Coach
Teria Sands, Captain
James Jones
Antonio Partee
Kwaghdoo Kakaan

Willow River High School, MN
Lois Johnson, Coach

Paxon School for Advanced Studies
Kathryn Loggie, Coach
Melony Vermillion, Asst. Coach
Christine Simmons, Captain
Bryan Johnson
Alexandra Heath
Lester Manley
Brian Vermillion

Iolani High School
James Rubasch, Coach
Lauren Faris, Captain
Erin Nishimura
Barbara Reichart
John Ishida
Cdy Petro Sakuna

West Chicago Community High School
Nancy Blume, Coach
Peg Peach, Asst. Coach
Matt Provenzale, Captain
Colton Reif
Jimmy Gehlbaar
Luis Guzman
Jeff Foreman

Franklin County High School
Diana Slaven, Coach
Beth Heis, Asst. Coach
Alicia Heis, Captain
Morgan Wright
Andrew Kist
Andrew Tellitocci
Taylor Abner

Nickerson High School
Vicki Galloway, Coach
Heather Sazama, Asst. Coach
Evan Wilson, Captain
Sarah Slifer
Cami Roth
Jesse Porter

Mason County High School
Maggie Prater, Coach
Steven Appleman, Asst. Coach
Connor Appleman, Captain
Garric Buzzard
Amrita Srinivasan
Adny Ward
Simon Segal

Palmer High School
Helena Naglack, Coach
Matthew Smith, Asst. Coach
Ryan Mastriani, Captain
Kayla Riel
Bou Coté
Owen Roche
Xavier Zuperneau

Judy England, Coach
Cobey England, Captain
Robert Dickens
Nicholas Martin
Maura Taylor
Julia Roberson

Fenton High School
Bruce Burwitz, Coach
Andy Cocagne, Captain
Logan Shaw
Nick Sanborn
Bailey Johnson
Charles Henzog
Chris Taylor

Le Sueur-Henderson
Cathy Schluter, Coach
Jackie Klimek, Captain
Erin Kelso
Rachel Bjork
Jamie Schlarbaum

Osage RII Linn Schools
Sharon Baker, Coach
Bonnie Baker, Asst. Coach
Zettie Pollard, Captain
Kayla Heidbrink
Patrick Dudenhoeffer
Mikaelyn Frank

New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes High School
Charles Bates, Coach
Tim Quinney, Asst. Coach
Cody Cook, Captain
Galen Miskat
Theodore Willey
Austin Hart
Sven Gustafson

New Jersey
John P. Stevens High School
Cathy DiGioia, Coach

New Mexico
Navajo Preparatory School
Kevin Keeley, Coach
Sandra Westbrook, Asst Coach
Kayla Bluehorse, Captain
Trevor Farland
Amber Reano
Kieta Begay
Jordan Fowler

North Dakota
Jamestown High School
Marchel Krieger, Coach

Ray Public Schools*
Bernadette Perdue, Coach
Elizabeth Ryan, Captain
Riley Donnelly
James Johnson
Tonya Weyrauch
Blake Wheeler

New York
Pittsford Mendon High School
Jody Pecor, Coach
Stefan Styk, Captain
Allison Hallock
Steven Pan
Denver Rawlins
Kylie Ryan

Benjamin Logan High School
Lois Stoll, Coach
Chelsie Raterman, Captain
Mackenzie Risner
Cheyenne Kuhn
Lexi Newland
Morgan Cline

Porter FCCLA
Sharon Rash, Coach
Sydney Krenek, Captain
Kaitlyn Fleetwood
Hutch Anderson
Cody Winkle
Stephanie Carl

North East High School
Greg Henning, Coach
Annette Heibach, Captain
Taylor Burnham
April Meehl
Katherine Perkins
John Hupp III

Rhode Island
Lincoln School
Catherine DiChiaro, Coach

North Smithfield High School*
Robin Broman, Coach
Dennis Ballou, Asst. Coach
Alli Wojtanowski
Shannon Slaome
Erin Hall
Daniel Thifault
Hannah Decelles

South Carolina
Lower Richland High School
Tari Tucker, Coach
Justice Nathan, Captain
Nivean Gonzales-Lara
Celeste Martin
Miriam Williams

Coffee County 4-H
Michelle Matthews, Coach
Melody Kelly, Asst. Coach
Kate Shrader
David Shrader
Nathaniel Anderson
Benjamin Kelly

Breckenridge ISD/FCCLA
Melisa Rhodes, Coach
Cassidy Foreman, Captain
Jennifer Morris
Emily Oakley
Ryan Wade
Lindsey Wimberly

George C. Marshall High School
Kimberly Fields, Coach
Rebekah Glasbrenner, Asst. Coach
Michael Benson, Captain
Gabriel Ritter
Benjamin Kim
Daniel Heshmantipour

Champlain Union High School, CVU FBLA
Tamie-Jo Dickinson, Coach
Colleen Wedge, Asst. Coach
Adam Kaufmann, Captain
Jeffrey Wettstein
Jacob Grasso
Drew Nick

Cheney High School
Karlyn Urdahl, Coach
Jacob Mager, Captain
Nash Springberry
James Berchers
David Leong
Solomon Springberry

Shullburg Public Schools
Timothy Strang, Coach
Mitchell Kautz, Captain
Donnie Turpin
Hillary Barclay
Patrick Grate
Emilia Cervantes

Wright High School+
Lois Ostenson, Coach

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Countdown Begins: Only One Month Until Nationals!

Its hard to believe, but the 17th Annual LifeSmarts National Championship begins in one month! State competitions have been winding down and today marks the last state competition, good luck to all the New York teams!

Since Nationals are so quickly approaching, I've included a list of important upcoming dates for coaches and team members to keep in mind:

March 31: Coach call (We’ll answer your questions and give you the chance to learn more about the national event, how competition will work, and what to expect!)

April1: Activity sign-up form due from state champion teams

April 5: Second coach call

April 7: Hotel reservation deadline

April 13-19: Online pre-competition opens

April 30: Let the competitions begin!

See you all in Hollywood!