Awarding Scholarships for Cyber Safety Skills

Norton sponsors 2024 National LifeSmarts Championship
Jun 10, 2024 1:20 PM ET

Gen Blog | Community

Written By Kim Allman Head of Corporate Responsibility and Public Policy

Young people from across the United States came together in San Diego in April for the 2024 National LifeSmarts Championship, an annual competition that allows middle and high school students to earn scholarships by demonstrating their critical thinking skills on real-world consumer issues.

The four-day event is the culmination of the National Consumer League’s LifeSmarts program, which provides free educational activities for teens to learn new skills in consumer rights and responsibilities, the environment, health and safety, personal finance and technology.

Norton, one of our leading Cyber Safety brands, was a Presenting Sponsor at the 2024 competition, and we contributed more than $100,000 to make Cyber Safety education a significant part of the event’s curriculum.

Confronting the Dangers of Identity Theft

Our support underwrote the LifeSmarts Identity Theft Essay Contest, which asked students to investigate the issue of identity theft, articulate its importance and proactively offer solutions. Of the 41 students who participated, five winners each received $1,000 scholarships, which we directly funded.

“Identity theft is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences,” said Maria Huck, a high school senior from West Virginia who was one of the five winners of the essay contest. “When I was 18, I discovered that my mother had opened multiple credit cards in my name and had maxed them out without my knowledge. It’s a painful reminder that we must always be vigilant and protect ourselves, even from those we think we can trust the most.”

The topic of Cyber Safety was also featured in the competition’s other challenges, with students answering questions about online threats, digital privacy and the importance of data protection.

Building an Inclusive Environment

We also helped pave the way for new voices to take part in the competition in 2024. Our contributions to the LifeSmarts Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative covered travel and expenses for 10 teams from Title-1 and under-resourced communities across the U.S. For many of them, this was their first time traveling out of their home states.

Distributing Cyber Safety Tools

We provided free licenses for Norton 360 Deluxe to the more than 350 students, coaches, alumni and coordinators who attended the Championship, representing 30 states and the District of Columbia. The donation marks our commitment to getting necessary Cyber Safety resources into the hands of those who need them most.

Providing Year-Round Support

The LifeSmarts program gives young people the chance to continue their learning throughout the school year, including state and local competitions and curriculum resources. Our support helps make Cyber Safety education a part of these programs, complementing our broader efforts to empower children, families and vulnerable communities with the tools they need to keep their digital lives safe and secure. For more information on how we do this, check out our work with Discovery Education, the National PTA and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.