Hawaii DCCA staff honored with top volunteer award from national consumer literacy program, LifeSmarts

on "May 19, 2020 2:25 pm"

LifeSmarts, a national teen consumer literacy and scholarship program, has named two Hawaii government officials its 2020 Coordinators of the Year: Theresa Kong Kee, Investor Education Specialist, and Gloryana Akapo, Securities Multi-Media Education Specialist with the Office of the Securities Commissioner, both with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

lifesmartslogoKong Kee has served as Hawaii State LifeSmarts Coordinator for 7 years; Akapo joined her as co-coordinator two years ago.

LifeSmarts, a consumer education competition that challenges teens in grades 9-12 about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities, is a program of the National Consumers League (NCL). LifeSmarts is coordinated by NCL at the national level and by volunteers who serve as State Coordinators across the country.

LifeSmarts is sponsored locally by the DCCA Office of the Securities Commissioner and Insurance Division in partnership with Hawaii Credit Union League. Hawaii credit unions are proud supporters of LifeSmarts in our state. Credit unions supporting the 2020 Hawaii State Competition included:

  • Aloha Pacific FCU
  • Big Island FCU
  • Hawaii Community FCU
  • Hawaii State FCU
  • HawaiiUSA FCU Foundation
  • Hickam FCU
  • HMSA Employees FCU
  • Honolulu Fire Department FCU
  • Oahu FCU
  • Pearl Hawaii FCU
  • Schofield FCU

LifeSmarts State Coordinators implement the national consumer education program at the local level, bringing to bear their knowledge of best practices for students and educators in their state. State Coordinators promote the program, advise educators, and run online and live state competitions to advance consumer education for the students in their states.

Staff within the Office of the Securities Commissioner in the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has served in the State Coordinator role since 2013.

“Theresa and Gloryana work so hard for their state, and it shows; Hawaii’s LifeSmarts program is truly exceptional, when it comes to administration, partnerships, and—most importantly—student participation and success,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “The Hawaii LifeSmarts program is robust, and student teams have done very well at the national level. Hawaii is also home to the second largest Junior Varsity (middle school) program in the nation. We are thrilled to honor them this year and congratulate them for a job very well done.”