LifeSmarts is a 25-year-old organization aimed to educate citizens of the United States on both consumer laws and ethics. Created by the National Consumers League, the LifeSmarts national competition invites students between the sixth and twelfth grades to participate in their prestigious consumer literacy event. Recently, a statewide competition was hosted by the Hawai’i Department of Commerce at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Of all of the schools in the state, the top four schools in LifeSmarts--‘Iolani, Maryknoll, Roosevelt, and Waiake--were invited. Recently, ‘Iolani won the state competition, thanks to their rigorous practice schedule.
Every week, students on the team practice in Mr. Rubasch’s room, reviewing different question formats in order to prepare for major LifeSmarts events. These formats can include a “SpeedSmarts” round, where the captain describes a term, while his teammates try to guess it. Along with their routine practices, they sometimes even participate against a faculty all-star team, in which they test their knowledge against teachers. In their free time, many members also take the daily online quiz, which serves as a quick, five question study method. In some cases, they also prepare for written assessments.
Although LifeSmarts is a relatively unknown club, many members invite others to sign up.
Lifesmarts team member Norton Kishi ‘18 says, “I would encourage other student to join LifeSmarts because it allows you to be aware of your surroundings, many other clubs don’t teach your how to fill out a tax form!” Similarly, Bryson Choy ‘18 believes that “LifeSmarts is one of the rare competitions from which the information you learn can be carried on with you for life. Other then the useful knowledge participants gain, they also receive great prizes if they win at competitions! These prizes can include $200 in gift cards, or even an iPad Air.
Students on the LifeSmarts team will travel to San Diego this April for the national championship.
“We have a lot of preparing to do before April and we’ll miss the Family Fair that weekend, but it’ll be fun representing the state of Hawai’i against other state champions from across the country!” said Choy.