02 Mar ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO WELCOMES HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO THE 2015 ESSEX COUNTY CONSUMER BOWL Annual Contest Teaches Students about their Consumer Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2015

ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO WELCOMES HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
TO THE 2015 ESSEX COUNTY CONSUMER BOWL
Annual Contest Teaches Students about their Consumer Rights

Newark, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. welcomed students from six local high schools to the 2015 Essex County Consumer Bowl on Monday, March 2nd at the Essex County Vocational Schools – West Caldwell Tech. The 19th annual event featured students competing in a game show style format to test their knowledge about consumer laws and fraud. The contest is sponsored by the Essex County Division of Community Action and the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs.

“This partnership between the County and State provides our teen consumers with an extracurricular event that teaches them about consumer laws and how they can protect themselves from fraud and scams,” DiVincenzo said. “Watching our students compete against one another and answer rounds of questions is an innovative and exciting way for them to learn about State consumer laws,” he added.

“The students that participate in the consumer bowls learn invaluable information that they can use now to protect themselves and their loved ones and in the future when they begin to purchases cars, homes, etc.,” said NJ Division of Consumer Affairs Consumer Bowl Director Dulcelina Pena. “If the students are educated about their rights, it will lessen the chances of someone being able to take advantage of them and their families,” she added.

During the competition, teams of five students (plus one alternate) competed against each other by answering questions on consumer-related topics, such as Internet fraud, identify theft and more. Other topics included recent headline-grabbing topics, such as Ponzi schemes, sale and purchase of securities, vehicle financing, new and used vehicle Lemon Laws, merchandise return and refund policies, and overall knowledge of New Jersey’s consumer protection laws and regulations. Winners of the County Consumer Bowl will advance to a regional competition before the State finals in Trenton.

“The Consumer Bowl helps our residents become knowledgeable about consumer laws at a young age,” said Essex County Director of Citizen Services Anibal Ramos, Jr. “This is valuable information that students can use to help themselves and their families, and it will benefit them for the rest of their lives,” he added.

“We are excited to welcome all of our Essex County students to the 2015 Essex County Consumer Bowl. This event provides our students with an invaluable learning experience,” said Maurice J. Brown, Acting Essex County Director of the Division of Community Action. “We are proud to partner with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs to host this event annually and we look forward to the continued growth and success of this competition,” he added.

Participating in the 2015 Essex County Consumer Bowl competition were teams from Essex County Vocational School District’s Newark Tech, Bloomfield Tech, North 13th Street Tech and West Caldwell Tech, Irvington High School and Bard High School Early College. Irvington High School finished first, ECVTS-Newark Tech finished second, Bard High School Early College finished third, ECVTS-West Caldwell Tech finished fourth, ECVTS – Bloomfield Tech and N. 13th Street Tech were tied for fifth place. The members of the Irvington High School team are Mercio Cabrera, Oluchukwu Ibe, Danielson Joseph, Donald Roberts III and Elizabeth Gasson.

“I was a little nervous today because this was a fairly new group of students competing, with the exception of two students, but with they came through again and won the Essex County title,” said Irvington High School Teacher/Advisor Joseph Romano. “It was very important to have students who have participated n the past to help lead the team and encourage everyone to excel,” he added.

“The consumer bowl is a great experience for our students. All of the students are learning valuable information they can use now and in the future as adults, to help them make better choices,” said ECVTS-Newark Tech Teacher/Advisor Andrew Turner. “This competition is so important because it teaches them about consumer laws and consumer rights and covers a lot of material that they will need to know to protect themselves in the future,” he added.

“You win some, you lose some, but at the end of the day we all had fun and learned a lot,” said ECVTS-Newark Tech Consumer Bowl team. “This was really a great experience and we look forward to next year’s competition,” they added.

This is the 19th year of the competition and the 14th year that Essex County has been a co-sponsor. The Essex County Division of Community Action is part of the County’s Department of Citizen Services and is located at 50 South Clinton Street in East Orange. It provides Consumer Services, a Homeless Unit, Tenant Resource Center and Utility Assistance, and Weights and Measures. For more information, call the division at 973-395-8350.

Contact: Anthony Puglisi
973-621-2542
Lauren Shears
973-621-1590