HONOLULU – The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announces the start of the 2010-2011 LifeSmarts Consumer Education Competition. LifeSmarts, the Ultimate Consumer Challenge, is a FREE consumer education competition open to teens in grades 9-12. The competition tests students on their knowledge of Personal Finance, Health and Safety, the Environment, Technology, and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities.

Teams may sign up and compete online from September 13, 2010 to December 7, 2010 (11 pm EST). At the end of the online competition, scores are tabulated and the top scoring teams will be invited to compete at the State Competition to be held in Honolulu on February 12, 2011. The winning team is eligible to represent Hawaii at the National Competition in Los Angeles, California, April 30-May 3, 2011.

Teens learn critical life skills in a competitive way that builds teamwork, self-esteem, verbal communications skills and leadership ability. This program will help teens learn how to be smart consumers and learn how to be responsible with their money in a fun way.

Coaches gain access to educational resources through online curriculum, pre and post tests for students and links to local and national organizations. LifeSmarts will complement any high school curriculum and can be used as a learning activity for classes, groups, clubs, and community organizations.

Coaches may enter more than one team, but only one team from each school or organization can qualify for the state competition.

All teams must have an adult sponsor or coach to participate. Registration is done online at www.lifesmarts.org. Anyone interested in forming a team may contact the LifeSmarts State Coordinator, Jackie Choy, at 586-2760 on Oahu for more information. Neighbor Island residents can call for information on LifeSmarts by dialing the number listed below for their island followed by the 5-digit extension and the # sign.

  • Kauai     274-3141, then 62760#
  • Maui     984-2400, then 62760#
  • Big Island     974-4000, then 62760#
  • Molokai & Lanai    1-800-468-4644, then 62760#

Through our partner, the Department of Education, mentors are provided to public schools that need assistance in preparing their students for the competition. Any DOE high school interested in obtaining mentors may sign up through www.helphawaiischools.com under Mentoring/eMentoring.

The program is also seeking individuals interested in becoming a mentor. Volunteers can sign up at www.helphawaiischools.com by clicking on Mentoring/eMentoring for interested schools. If your school is not listed, please contact Judy Nagasako at 586-3687 on Oahu. Neighbor Island residents can call for information on becoming a mentor by dialing the number listed below for their island followed by the 5-digit extension and the # sign.

  • Kauai     274-3141, then 63687#
  • Maui     984-2400, then 63687#
  • Big Island     974-4000, then 63687#
  • Molokai & Lanai    1-800-468-4644, then 63687#

LifeSmarts is brought to Hawaii by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and is run by the National Consumers League. Local partners include the State Department of Education and the Hawaii Credit Union League. Local businesses interested in becoming a sponsor may contact the state coordinator for more information.

Submitted by the DCCA