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

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

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

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

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

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