This year, five home school teens and two coaches from Flagstaff will be attending the National LifeSmarts competition in Hollywood, Calif., after taking first place in Arizona.
Juniors Scott Bearchell, Moriah Parks and Grant Wiseman, and seniors Aaron Parks and Jordy Shute make up this year's team, "The Fab Five." LifeSmarts veteran coach Jennifer Bearchell has taken a team to the nationals eight times and won the LifeSmarts Nationals Competition in 2009. Emily Bearchell, who has attended the national competition the last four years, is this year's assistant coach.
LifeSmarts, "The Ultimate Consumer Challenge," is a national educational competition designed to teach teens in grades 9-12 to be savvy consumers in today's marketplace. The national competition is based around five main studies: health and safety, personal finance, consumer rights and responsibilities, environment and technology. It is run in a game-show style, with questions asked from all categories. The teams of four, with one alternate, must also finish timed tests and solve consumer problems.
The team may only take five players to represent them in Hollywood, but "the Fab Five" were actually seven. Sophomores Kayla Rutter and Willow Smith also took the Arizona state test and studied with the team since November 2010. This will be the 10th year a team from the Flagstaff Home Educators has represented Arizona as they compete for another national victory.
The LifeSmarts National Competition will be April 30 through May 3. The team is raising money to help pay for travel expenses. They are hosting a dinner and silent auction in April. Cash donations are also appreciated.
For more information on LifeSmarts, visit lifesmarts.org. If you have questions about this year's LifeSmarts team, contact Jennifer Bearchell at 637-3609. Donations to help with travel and hotel expenses can be sent to Flagstaff Home Educators, P.O. Box 31236, Flagstaff, AZ, 86003.