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

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

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

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

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

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