A team of Henrico County 4-H students represented Virginia at the 2015 National LifeSmarts Championship, a national consumer education competition held April 17-20 in Seattle. The game-show style competition tested the team's knowledge of consumer-related topics such as personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities.

The 4-H team, called WYSIWYG — an acronym for What You See Is What You Get — is composed of:

  • Joshua Hyde of Henrico County;
  • Stephen Baker of Henrico County;
  • Curtis Cantwell of Henrico County;
  • George Evans of Goochland County; and
  • Emily Royster of Louisa County.

A program of the Washington, D.C.-based National Consumers League, LifeSmarts is a consumer education program that tests students in grades 6-12 on their knowledge of consumer awareness. It is available to students throughout the U.S. The National Consumers League is the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization.

The WYSIWYG team earned its second LifeSmarts state title after scoring better than five other teams in the Virginia LifeSmarts competition held March 9 at the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Virginia Housing Center in Glen Allen. This was the fifth team from Henrico’s 4-H program to compete nationally since 1995.

In Seattle, the team placed seventh out of 34 participating teams in the first rounds of the national competition. The Henrico team also had the third-highest average on the individual assessments, with an average score of 94. Joshua Hyde placed fourth overall in technology, George Evans placed third in personal finance, and Curtis Cantwell placed third in environment.

Karie Dawkins of Henrico County serves as the team’s head coach, with assistance from Kathleen Cantwell and Sheila Hyde of Henrico County.

“The overall goal of LifeSmarts is to educate our youth on basic consumer issues that will ultimately help them become more informed adults,” said Kimberly Edmonds, family and consumer sciences agent in Henrico County and Henrico County Family and co-chair for Virginia LifeSmarts Coalition. 

The Virginia LifeSmarts Coalition encourages coaches to develop teams so they can take advantage of the resources available through the LifeSmarts program while making connections with Virginia Cooperative Extension’s related educational programs.

“I think kids really get a good understanding of how our world works and information that they need to know,” Edmonds said. 

For more information about the team, please visit its Facebook page, Virginia Lifesmarts WYSIWYG 2015 Team.



Written by Emily Halstead, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a communications intern for Virginia Cooperative Extension.
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