Last Friday, nine teams from high schools all over the state came battled it out in the 8th Annual Rhode Island LifeSmarts competition at the State House.
There was plenty of action, with heated rivalries, buzzer beaters and brackets as part of an event known as March Smartness, where teens are tested on their knowledge of consumer topics and financial literacy.
Peter Kerwin from the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority joined The Rhode Show with a recap.
So, Peter you were an official at the competition. What happened?
Yes, I graduated to be a "Quiz Master" this year, asking questions in three of the contests which were held in the Senate Lounge. I didn't get to see the big early match-up of the day, the opening bracket in the Governor's State Room which featured Barrington, North Providence and the Lincoln School—the only three teams which have ever won the competition. Barrington won that monster matchup and they ended up winning the entire event.
This is the third year Barrington has won the coveted Consumer Cup, which this year has actually been named the Michaelson Consumer Cup in honor of the late Rhode Island Attorney General Julius Michaelson. There were some terrific Cinderella stories, with the newcomers from Mt. Hope earning a third place finish in their first competition and the Burrillville squad making it into the Final Four, as they have done in the past. And East Greenwich rebounded from an opening round loss to North Smithfield and fought their way into the final against Barrington.
The Barrington team was comprised of Captain Brenden Forte, Rahul Chander, Matthew Groetelaars, Stephen Lamontagne (who are all seniors), and junior Jack Liang. There were volunteers on hand from the academic, business and civic sectors. And we were also pleased to welcome Secretary of State Ralph Mollis and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin who spoke to all the participants, as did Marcia Reeback, former President of the RI Federation of Teachers. We also had members of Attorney General Michaelson's family there, his wife Rita and son Jeffrey who really helped make it a special day, recognizing his legacy and the continuing role it will play in this event.
So, what's next for the Barrington team?
They have qualified to represent Rhode Island at the National LifeSmarts competition hosted by the National Consumers League in Philadelphia from April 21-24. Rhode Island fans can watch the finals online at www.lifesmarts.org on April 24th.
Jim Hedemark and the Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition really did a great job organizing this event, bringing together volunteers for a program which really helps students learn lessons that will help them in today's challenging economy. LifeSmarts goes a long way to make sure young people have the information they need to make good choices as consumers and that's going to help them when it comes time to prepare for college and all those other critical financial decisions they will be making.
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