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Patriot Brandon Lloyd opens playbook on life in Lowell High visit
By Pete McQuaid, buy discount ansaid

All six of Brandon Lloyd's siblings have college degrees. Buy discount ansaid 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, buy discount ansaid" Lloyd told a room of Lowell High School students. Buy discount ansaid "I looked at it as a means to an end. Buy discount ansaid 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. Buy discount ansaid Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, buy discount ansaid along with the National Financial Educators Council, buy discount ansaid sponsored Lloyd's visit as part of its MoneyStrong program, buy discount ansaid which educates teens to be financially responsible through talks, buy discount ansaid 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, buy discount ansaid" said Michelle Silveira, buy discount ansaid senior vice president at Jeanne D'Arc. Buy discount ansaid "Even if they're saving as little as $10, buy discount ansaid 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, buy discount ansaid covering everything from the mysterious fine print of credit-card agreements to the financial implications of choosing the right college. Buy discount ansaid The students watched video clips of celebrities such as John Salley, buy discount ansaid Christian Hosoi and Wilmer Valderrama, buy discount ansaid each of whom talked about the tough path he faced in achieving his dream.

But the real star of the show was Lloyd, buy discount ansaid who spoke to thestudents for about 20 minutes about how hard work can lead to financial success. Buy discount ansaid He told of his hardworking hometown of Blue Springs, buy discount ansaid Mo., buy discount ansaid the type of place where the varsity quarterback was also the valedictorian and got a scholarship to Dartmouth. Buy discount ansaid He recalled a moment in his youth when he asked his parents to buy him a video-game system, buy discount ansaid 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, buy discount ansaid youhave more respect for it, buy discount ansaid" said Lloyd.

Wanting to get a degree just like the rest of his family, buy discount ansaid each of whom was able to afford college through academic scholarships, buy discount ansaid athletic scholarships or even enlistment in the Air Force, buy discount ansaid 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, buy discount ansaid that's what helps you stay on course with all the distractions that high school and college throw you, buy discount ansaid" said Lloyd.

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

"I think that it doesn't matter how much money that (the students) will have in their future, buy discount ansaid because each of them, buy discount ansaid in some way, buy discount ansaid will have money in their future, buy discount ansaid" said Lloyd. Buy discount ansaid "But all it takes is one kid. Buy discount ansaid I come from a family of educators, buy discount ansaid 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.