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2020 Scholarship Opportunity: Write a Winning Essay about Privacy


New opportunity for students competing in the National LifeSmarts Championship: 
Write a winning essay on privacy and win a $2,000 scholarship sponsored by Synchrony Financial.

LifeSmarts partners with Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) to help students and educators understand their online footprint, how to guard their privacy, what data is being shared through their devices and social media accounts, and what to do when faced with identity theft or data breaches.

What exactly is privacy?
Privacy means different things to different people. Most consumers have an expectation that they are in control of what they share about themselves – and with whom they share it – both in the real world and online; however, many are sharing more than they think and without fully understanding the consequences.

Students who have received the presentation are eligible to apply for a $2,000 privacy scholarship thanks to ITRC. In addition, five runners-up will receive $100 gift cards. Here are the steps to use Hands-on Privacy with your class, group, or LifeSmarts team, making your students eligible to apply for the privacy scholarship: 1. Students take the Hands-on Privacy pre-quiz (found in students’ competition portal, under “TeamSmarts” quizzes 2. Educator delivers the Hands-on Privacy PowerPoint presentation 3. Students take the Hands-on Privacy post-quiz (found in students’ competition portal, under “TeamSmarts” quizzes 4. Students may apply for the privacy scholarship

  • Write an essay of no more than 500 words that answers this question: “You’ve likely been online for a large portion of your life already, and information about you is in lots of places. If that data gets stolen in a breach, what do you think the impact would be on your privacy now and in the future?”
  • The student writing the winning essay will win a $2,000 post-secondary scholarship from ITRC. Five additional students will win Honorable Mentions and receive $100 gift cards.

An independent panel of judges will evaluate essays using the following criteria:

  • inclusion of personal experiences and/or examples, especially those that informed a student’s views about data breaches and privacy (15 points)
  • readability and clarity (5 points)
  • spelling and grammar (5 points)

Timeline Complete the pre-quiz, attend a presentation, take the post-quiz, and submit your essay by March 31, 2020. The winning student and honorable mentions will be announced at the National LifeSmarts Championship. If the winning student is attending Nationals, they will be asked to read their essay during the lunch on Sunday, April 26. For questions, contact your LifeSmarts Coach or visit https://lifesmarts.org/hands-on-privacy/

Congratulations to 2019 Privacy Essay Winner, Annika!

After taking the hands-on privacy quizzes and submitting her essay, Annika won the Identity Theft Resource Center & LifeSmarts essay scholarship competition. Annika was awarded the $2,000 scholarship at the LifeSmarts Nationals Competition in Orlando, Florida, where she spoke on stage about her winning essay and future goals to more than 300 students and coaches.

“I know to maintain my privacy that I need to be conscientious of what information is public when I make decisions and think about what I want to add to that treasure trove for any hacker.” – Annika, LifeSmarts Privacy Essay Competition Winner 2019

 Hands-On Privacy with Your Mobile Apps

Hands-On Privacy on Your Mobile Device

Hands-On Privacy on Your Social Media