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    On the Road to Nationals with a pit stop in Richmond

    Last Friday, I embarked on my first official LifeSmarts competition! As the latest member of the LifeSmarts staff, I was really excited. In the spirit of our motto, “Learn It, Live It”, the best way to know the program is to experience competition firsthand with an in-person event. So, I took the eco-friendly option and boarded the train (Remember, public transportation not only saves you money but it saves the environment too!) set for Richmond. Competition was already in full swing once I arrived. There were so many bright teams from across Virginia that claiming top prize wasn’t going to be easy. No strangers to LifeSmarts state finals, George Marshall C. High has sent teams to Nationals for years. With three Marshall High teams competing, we were definitely in for a great show! Henrico 4-H was proudly represented with two teams, each vying for a spot at Nationals. The Statesmen Savages of Marshall High whizzed through the first rounds of competition and moved into the semi-finals. But team Marshall P5 didn’t let the Statesmen (Also, their fellow classmates), take charge the whole round. Both teams were neck-in-neck as we anxiously cheered them to see who would be granted a spot in the final round. Team Econopax won their semi-final and sailed to the last round of competition. The final match-up saw Team Econopax and the Statesmen competing for the chance to go to Nationals. After 30 minutes of fast questions and a few laughs with our MC, it was time to crown a winner.

    Team Statesmen Savages (pictured above)  took home first prize with team Econopax finishing in second place, after putting up quite a tough match!

    Perhaps the best moments of the day were seeing how happy each team was with their accomplishments! Congratulations went all around whether a team placed 4th or finished somewhere else once the scores had been counted. I think everyone, including the audience of parents, coaches, and teams, all learned some valuable consumer facts by the time the event ended. The event wouldn’t have been a success without all of these people, especially our VA coordinator, Kim Edmonds, and her staff of volunteers! As someone who has worked extensively in education with teens, I love seeing how excited students get when new information “clicks”. Seeing these talented Virginians compete has gotten me really excited for at Nationals in Pittsburgh! See you there!

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