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

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

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

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

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

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