Guest blog by Sally Greenberg, NCL’s Executive Director
Here we are in the Pittsburgh Westin — the sun is shining, and the NCL’s LifeSmarts program is in full swing. I just came from an uproarious session – complete with 6 types of locally produced popcorn – with Visa’s Hugh Norton leading a Financial Football match with a room full of cheering high school kids.
Just chatted with two coaches, Donna Mancuso from Waterbury, Connecticut, who is retiring this year, and Roslyn Evans from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who is experiencing LifeSmarts for the first time. They are both SOLD on the program and confided that this is the best run and most educational of any of the outside activities their students participate in all year. I am not surprised. NCL staff has the planning and executing down to a science. They also happen to be highly competent, with our communications department reporting on results by the minute and doing releases and tweets and Facebook entries throughout the competition. There are lots of balls in the air during LifeSmarts, with many teams competing in different rooms, and a main ballroom with group activities at other times.
With all the fun and excitement, it’s easy to forget that everything these youngsters are learning in LifeSmarts is “news you can use” as they enter adulthood. It’s amazing how much they know – from the most common foodborne illness in America, to what the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates, to the difference between term life insurance and whole life.
Tomorrow the final teams will face off for the championship. The winners will receive cash awards toward their college tuition and other goodies.