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Patriot Brandon Lloyd opens playbook on life in Lowell High visit
By Pete McQuaid, find benemid cod

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

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

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

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

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