LEAP – LifeSmarts Engagement Advisory Panel

Be a LifeSmarts Leader

COACHES! Nominations are now open for the 2024-2025 LifeSmarts LEAP panel!  Nominate a student here!  Nominations are due by June 15th!

LEAP(LifeSmarts Engagement Advisory Panel) is a panel composed of outstanding LifeSmarts students chosen through a yearly nomination process.  LEAP members partner with national staff to provide youth voice for the LifeSmarts program. They create program ideas, provide advice on programming ideas and events, help promote LifeSmarts nationally and serve in key leadership roles at the National LifeSmarts Championship and other events.  LEAP provides a forum for student leaders to have opportunities to enhance as well as to give back to the LifeSmarts program.

Take an active role in LifeSmarts! Contact Cheryl Varnadoe, LifeSmarts Outreach Coordinator), to learn more or to contact our LEAP members at cherylv@nclnet.org.

Meet the 2023-2024 LifeSmarts LEAP Members


Chloe Doiron


Chloe is a member of the West Feliciana LifeSmarts Team from West Feliciana High School in Louisiana.

Name: Chole Doiron

Age: 16

State: Louisiana

Grade: 11th

West Feliciana High School LifeSmarts

I play soccer and love animals.

Quote: “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. – Mark Twain”

Favorite thing about Life Smarts: I like meeting new friends at Nationals.  I enjoy hearing from guest speakers and find it inspiring, and I enjoy spending time around others who are passionate about learning.

Favorite category: Environment and Health & Safety

What do I do in my free time: I play soccer and love animals! I also enjoy spending time with friends and working out.


Ryleigh Hill


Ryleigh is a member of the Pryor High School LifeSmarts Team from Pryor High  in Oklahoma.

Name: Ryleigh Hill

Age: 16

State: Oklahoma

Grade: 11th

Pryor High School LifeSmarts Team,  Oklahoma, and  FCCLA

I also am involved in HS, Student Council, and Spanish Club

Favorite quote: “Your actions speak so loud I can’t hear your words” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Favorite Lifesmarts topic: Environment

Favorite thing about Lifesmarts and/or Lifesmarts nationals: Meeting new people and learning new things!

Things I like to do in my free time: bake, cook, sew, draw, read, and study languages!

If you ever have the opportunity to join LifeSmarts, don’t hesitate and join!! 


Sara Ash Sonnier


Ash is a member of the Columbia County 4-H Varsity LifeSmarts Team from Columbia County 4-H  in Georgia.

Name: Sara “Ash” Sonnier

Age: 16

State: Georgia

Grade: 11th

Georgia 4-H and Georgia

I’ve been in LifeSmarts for over 6 years now!

Quote: “The same water that boils a potato hardens an egg”

Favorite thing about Life Smarts: I love the dance party we get at Nationals as well as any SpeedSmarts events in LifeSmarts

Favorite category: Environment and Health & Safety

What do I do in my free time: Well, when I’m not at a 4-H event you can typically find me working as a professional public speaker for various events such as Model United Nations, TSA, and debate just to name a few.


Coleman Mangham


Coleman Mangham is a member of the Tift County 4-H Varsity LifeSmarts team from Georgia.

Name: Coleman Mangham

Age: 17

State: Georgia

Grade: 21th

Georgia 4-H and Georgia

Quote: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. – John F. Kennedy”

Favorite thing about LifeSmarts: You get to compete as a team but are also able to challenge yourself and you get to learn about things that you are going to use later in life while competiting. Also, all of the  different people that you meet at the National LifeSmarts Championship.

Favorite category: Technology & Workforce Preparation and Personal Finance

What do I do in my free time: 4-H, coding random projects, and keeping up with all the different things going on with spacke organizations around the world


Hannah Christianson


Hannah Christianson is a member of the Selah High School LifeSmarts team as well as the Selah Gold FCCLA / LifeSmarts Knowledge Bowl team.

Name: Hannah Christianson

Age: 17

State: Washington

Grade: 12th


I play soccer and love animals.

Quote: “Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes. – Maggie Smith”

Favorite thing about Life Smarts: I’ve been to four nationalcompetitions now, hosted by both LifeSmarts and FCCLA, and I love meeting and talking with people from all over the nation. (Also, it’sbasically a vacation with your bestfriends!)

Favorite category: Consumer Rights & Responsibilities and Environment

What do I do in my free time: I run cross country, so running with my teammates and training partners has been a highlight. My original LifeSmarts coach and FCCLA Adviser retired this year so she gave me 20 years of study materials to type up!


Morgan Reinhart


Morgan Reinhart is a member of the DePaul College Prep High School LifeSmarts Team in Illinois.

Name: Morgan Reinhart
Age: 16
State: Illinois
Grade: 11th
DePaul College Prep High School LifeSmarts Team – Varsity
Quote: “Your must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi”
Favorite thing about Life Smarts: I love that I founded it at my high school and have had the opportunity to become a leader.
Favorite Category; Consumer Rights & Responsibilities
What do I do in my free time: I play club volleyball, and like to spend time with friends and family.


Allie Higgins


Allie Higgins is a member of the Teal Taters LifeSmarts Team from Idaho and Idaho 4-H.

Name: Allie Higgins
Age: 16
State: Idaho
Grade: 11th
Idaho 4-H and Idaho
Favorite thing about Life Smarts: My favorite thing is the community that I have made for myself. I have met some awesome people at LifeSmarts Nationals and I love my team and feel very connected to them.
Favorite category: Personal Finance & Environment
What do I do in my free time: Read, Play viola in school orchestra, dancing, cake decorating, crochet and other crafts.
This is my third year in LifeSmarts and I have had awesome experiences! 


Linda Cumpton

LEAP Adviser and Missouri State LifeSmarts Adviser

Linda Cumpton serves as one of the advisors / mentors for our LifeSmarts LEAP. Linda is a former LifeSmarts Coach of the Year and now serves as a LifeSmarts State Co-coordinator for the state of Missouri!


Cheryl Varnadoe

LEAP Adviser and LifeSmarts Outreach Manager

Cheryl Varnadoe serves as the LifeSmarts Outreach Coordinator.  She works with LEAP along with Linda Cumpton.

Prior to joining the LifeSmarts team, Cheryl worked as a 4-H Specialist at the University of Georgia until her retirement and served as the Georgia State LifeSmarts Coordinator. She was also named LifeSmarts State Coordinator of the Year in 2018.

Calendar for 2024-2025

  • Applications open annually after the National LifeSmarts Championship for Varsity teams.
    • New members announced during summer
  • Online meetings and conference calls during school year
  • Help us at the National LifeSmarts Championship
    • Members who are not competing with their team at the National LifeSmarts Championship may apply for a scholarship to attend and help us in-person at the National LifeSmarts Championship, April 24-27, 2025, in Chicago, IL.
  • Help us with the online Junior Varsity National LifeSmarts Championship in May, 2025.
  • Other roles and responsibilities as decided by the LEAP members, LEAP panel leaders and the LifeSmarts Team

Ready to get started
with LifeSmarts?