Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is pleased to launch an exciting new year for Louisiana’s high school students with the 19th Annual LifeSmarts Ultimate Consumer Challenge. A consumer education competition developed by the National Consumers League open to teens in grades 9-12, LifeSmarts seeks to develop consumer knowledge and skills in high school students in a fun and competitive way.

Every year, thousands of students across the nation participate in the LifeSmarts Ultimate Consumer Challenge and are questioned on consumer issues ranging from personal finance, health and safety, environmental concerns, technology and consumer rights and responsibilities. At last year’s National LifeSmarts championship in Philadelphia, PA, students from Fredrick, Maryland were crowed national champions and received more than $2,500 in academic scholarships.

“My Consumer Protection Section is pleased to host the LifeSmarts’ state competition in Louisiana,” said Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. “This competition will be a fun way for Louisiana high school students to learn valuable information about their consumer rights and the consumer knowledge that they will need to become consumer-savvy adults.”

Teams may register and compete online at from now until February 15, 2013. At the end of the online competition, the top scoring teams will be invited to compete at the state competition held at the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office in Baton Rouge, LA on March 8, 2013. The winning state team will represent Louisiana and compete against LifeSmarts state champion teams across the nation at the Annual National LifeSmarts Championship in Atlanta, GA from Saturday, April 20, 2013 until Tuesday, April 23, 2013. The top eight highest scoring teams at the National LifeSmarts Championship will receive academic scholarship for college as well as additional prizes.

For teachers looking for ways to supplement their classes, the LifeSmarts meets national educational standards. LifeSmarts’ free online materials will complement any high school curriculum and can be used as a learning activity for classes, groups, clubs and community organizations. All teams that compete in the state competition must be composed of 4-5 students and must have an adult sponsor or coach to participate. Coaches or sponsors may enter more than one team, but only one team from each high school or organization can qualify for the state competition.

Anyone interested in forming a team of students may contact the LifeSmarts State Coordinator, Lisha Landry, at 225-326-6400 for more information. To test your LifeSmarts skills or to find out additional information about LifeSmarts, please visit

Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.