A Henrico County 4-H team recently completed a successful run in the LifeSmarts consumer education competitions, capturing the Virginia championship and finishing tied for fourth nationally in Orlando, Florida.
A program of the National Consumers League, LifeSmarts is a consumer education competition that challenges students in ninth through 12th grades with questions about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities.
The Henrico 4-H team — known as WSIWYG, an abbreviation for “what you see is what you get” — consists of students Emma Shepard, Curtis Cantwell, Joshua Hyde, Steven Baker and George Evans. Coach Karie Dawkins leads the squad with assistant coaches Kathleen Cantwell and Sheila Hyde.
Teams across Virginia competed online early this year for a chance to participate in the state’s LifeSmarts finals, held March 7 at the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Virginia Housing Center in Henrico. WSIWYG defeated seven teams to capture the Virginia State LifeSmarts Championship and qualify for the LifeSmarts National Championship, held April 26-29 in Orlando.
In the national competition, WSIWYG ranked eighth overall in points after eight rounds, which allowed the team to advance to the quarterfinals. The team finished tied for fourth, with teams from Pennsylvania, Arizona and Tennessee. Overall, the competition featured 34 teams representing 32 states, Future Business Leaders of America, and Future Career and Community Leaders of America. Two WSIWYG team members placed in the individual competition. Emma Shepard finished second nationally in health and safety, while Joshua Hyde placed fourth in environment.
Henrico’s 4-H program has had four teams to represent Virginia in the national LifeSmarts competition since 1995.
“LifeSmarts participants in Virginia have gained many of the consumer ‘smarts’ they’ll need to make it in the real world,” said Kimberly Edmonds, family and consumer sciences extension agent for Henrico and co-coordinator of LifeSmarts for Virginia. “We are proud of the WSIWYG team and how well it represented Virginia.”
Henrico 4-H is a comprehensive youth development program that offers hands-on learning experiences under the guidance of 4-H agents and trained adult or teen volunteers. Program offerings include recreational camps and a variety of contests and clubs.
For information on Henrico’s 4-H or LifeSmarts programs, go to henrico.us/extension.