Kalani High wins 2024 Hawai‘i LifeSmarts State Competition


Team Kalani 4.2 from Kalani High School has won the 2024 Hawaiʻi LifeSmarts State Competition, organized by the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Business Registration and Insurance Divisions and the Hawaiʻi Credit Union League (HCUL).

Team Kalani 4.2MĀNOA — Kalani High School's "Team Kalani 4.2" won the 2024 Hawaiʻi LifeSmarts State Competition on Friday, outperforming teams from Waipahu High, Maryknoll School and a second team of schoolmates from Kalani High.

The competition, held at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Campus Center Ballroom, is organized by the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Business Registration and Insurance Divisions and the Hawaiʻi Credit Union League (HCUL).

Now in its 20th year, LifeSmarts tests students on their knowledge of personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities. Following the preliminary online portion of the competition, top scoring teams from Maryknoll School, Kalani and Waipahu High schools were invited to compete in today’s in-person competition, where they tested their skills through an assessment test, “speed smarts” activity and game show-style buzzer rounds. 

Team Kalani 4.2 competition photo 1

“One thing I learned in LifeSmarts that is super useful is different safety tips. Health and safety is one of the most important categories to keep me safe and maybe my future kids down the line,” said team captain and Kalani High senior Brandon Tran. 

“I think they learn life skills and learn how to be better at time management,” said coach and Kalani High teacher Mike Zane. “It’s all student initiated and student led, they have to create their teams, register with the LifeSmarts website and from there they do all the testing on their own.”

As the 2024 state champions, the Kalani 4.2 team will go on to represent Hawaiʻi at the National LifeSmarts Competition in San Diego, Calif., from April 18-21, 2024. Members of the team are: Brandon Tran, Andy Chen, Jiaorong (Michelle) He, Kyla Iglesia, and Mason Vuong. 

Team Kalani 4.2 competition photo 2

Despite many hours of rigorous studying, practices, meetings after school and on the weekends, the team felt the win was unexpected. However, team captain Tran added: “The team really deserved it. I saw progress over the past year practicing and working hard. I’m really proud of what everyone has accomplished today.” 

The Kalani team looks forward to meeting other teams, placing well and experiencing the chaotic environment with over 300 students from across the country. Hawai‘i schools, students and organizations interested in creating their own teams can visit https://cca.hawaii.gov/lifesmarts/ for more information. 


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