Floyd County outsmarted the competition and brought home first place at the Varsity level of the Georgia LifeSmarts Championship on Feb. 21.
Held at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center, the LifeSmarts competition staged questions and scenarios about personal finance, health, safety, the environment, technology, workforce development, consumer rights and consumer responsibilities for teams in ninth through 12th grades at the Varsity level and sixth through eighth grades in the Junior Varsity level.
The National Consumers League, which regulates the contest, partners with Georgia 4-H for the Georgia State Championship. Youth from across the state first competed online for a chance to advance to the in-person state finals.
With their first-place win, the Floyd County Varsity team qualified for the 2022 National LifeSmarts Championship, which will be held April 21-24 in Washington, D.C. Team members include 4-H’ers Bryson Williams, Elan McClain, Sara Grace Abernathy and Seth Moon coached by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H Agent Abbie Salmon and Floyd County volunteer coach Phyllis Allee.
“I am passionate about helping these students truly understand the concepts they learn through LifeSmarts,” Allee said. “They leave this competition with a real-world understanding of financial literacy, and it puts them on a path to become well-adjusted and financially healthy adults.”
The Georgia 4-H LifeSmarts contest is supported by Georgia United Credit Union (GUCU). Ken Chrzanowski, senior business development officer for GUCU, attended the state championship and is excited about the partnership with Georgia 4-H and LifeSmarts. “Georgia United Credit Union is proud to sponsor this event,” he said. “As the largest and oldest educators credit union in Georgia, we understand the importance of financial education. Financial literacy is an essential life skill for overall wellness, and our longstanding partnership with Georgia 4-H assists us in our mission to help young people and adults make wise consumer choices.”
Columbia County earned first place in the Junior Varsity competition. Team members include 4-H’ers Addie Andrews, Hope Burcaw, Kendall Harris and Lily Sanz coached by Columbia County 4-H Agent Kelli Brookins and Columbia County 4-H Educator Karen Tankersley. At the Varsity level, second place went to Columbia County, third place to Bartow County and fourth place to Oconee County. At the Junior Varsity Level, second place went to Floyd County and third place went to Bartow County.
Courtney Brown, Extension 4-H specialist for healthy living programs, coordinates the LifeSmarts and Georgia 4-H partnership with Cobb County 4-H Agent Brittani Lee. “This contest offers students a chance to gain real-world skills before they enter adulthood,” Brown said. “They carry the information they learn as they move on to their college educations and careers, and it sets them on a path to be engaged consumers and citizens.”
LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League (NCL). Founded in 1899, NCL is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the U.S. and abroad. NCL is a private, nonprofit membership organization. For more information, visit www.lifesmarts.org.
Georgia 4-H enables youth to become excellent citizens by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 240,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information about how to get involved with 4-H in your community, contact your local UGA Extension office or visit georgia4h.org.