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

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

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

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

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

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