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Patriot Brandon Lloyd opens playbook on life in Lowell High visit
By Pete McQuaid, abana free sample pmcquaid@lowellsun.com

All six of Brandon Lloyd's siblings have college degrees. Abana free sample And he would have had one too -- if he didn't leave school early to play in the National Football League.

"I never saw sports as my future, abana free sample" Lloyd told a room of Lowell High School students. Abana free sample "I looked at it as a means to an end. Abana free sample I knew I wanted a major institutional degree in broadcast journalism."

It was this drive for success that the Patriots wide receiver stressed in his visit to Lowell High on Tuesday morning. Abana free sample Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, abana free sample along with the National Financial Educators Council, abana free sample sponsored Lloyd's visit as part of its MoneyStrong program, abana free sample which educates teens to be financially responsible through talks, abana free sample workshops and first-loan programs.

"The program is such a great education for kids coming out of school or going into college to learn about saving, abana free sample" said Michelle Silveira, abana free sample senior vice president at Jeanne D'Arc. Abana free sample "Even if they're saving as little as $10, abana free sample that's still making a difference."

Members of Jeanne D'Arc's financial-education department put on a presentation for about 100 Lowell High seniors, abana free sample covering everything from the mysterious fine print of credit-card agreements to the financial implications of choosing the right college. Abana free sample The students watched video clips of celebrities such as John Salley, abana free sample Christian Hosoi and Wilmer Valderrama, abana free sample each of whom talked about the tough path he faced in achieving his dream.

But the real star of the show was Lloyd, abana free sample who spoke to thestudents for about 20 minutes about how hard work can lead to financial success. Abana free sample He told of his hardworking hometown of Blue Springs, abana free sample Mo., abana free sample the type of place where the varsity quarterback was also the valedictorian and got a scholarship to Dartmouth. Abana free sample He recalled a moment in his youth when he asked his parents to buy him a video-game system, abana free sample which he soon learned he would have to buy himself after mowing more than a couple of lawns.

"Once you view money as something that requires labor, abana free sample youhave more respect for it, abana free sample" said Lloyd.

Wanting to get a degree just like the rest of his family, abana free sample each of whom was able to afford college through academic scholarships, abana free sample athletic scholarships or even enlistment in the Air Force, abana free sample Lloyd parlayed his considerable athletic ability (and dinner-plate-sized hands) into a football scholarship at the University of Illinois.

"When you have that discipline and focus, abana free sample that's what helps you stay on course with all the distractions that high school and college throw you, abana free sample" said Lloyd.

Lloyd took a tour of Lowell High when he arrived at about 9 a.m. Abana free sample After the presentation, abana free sample he sat in on a business class and ate lunch in the school restaurant. Abana free sample Though he encountered many Patriots fans, abana free sample Lloyd feels like his life lessons are universal and that as long as somebody learns a thing or two, abana free sample he's happy.

"I think that it doesn't matter how much money that (the students) will have in their future, abana free sample because each of them, abana free sample in some way, abana free sample will have money in their future, abana free sample" said Lloyd. Abana free sample "But all it takes is one kid. Abana free sample I come from a family of educators, abana free sample and one thing my dad would always say is that he'd teach all these years for one student to get something out of it."

Follow Pete McQuaid on Twitter @sweetestpete.

SOURCE: http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_22080021/hes-got-game-plan-succe#ixzz2DjnHYEjx