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

All six of Brandon Lloyd's siblings have college degrees. Find msm 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 msm cod" Lloyd told a room of Lowell High School students. Find msm cod "I looked at it as a means to an end. Find msm 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 msm cod Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, find msm cod along with the National Financial Educators Council, find msm cod sponsored Lloyd's visit as part of its MoneyStrong program, find msm cod which educates teens to be financially responsible through talks, find msm 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 msm cod" said Michelle Silveira, find msm cod senior vice president at Jeanne D'Arc. Find msm cod "Even if they're saving as little as $10, find msm 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 msm cod covering everything from the mysterious fine print of credit-card agreements to the financial implications of choosing the right college. Find msm cod The students watched video clips of celebrities such as John Salley, find msm cod Christian Hosoi and Wilmer Valderrama, find msm 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 msm cod who spoke to thestudents for about 20 minutes about how hard work can lead to financial success. Find msm cod He told of his hardworking hometown of Blue Springs, find msm cod Mo., find msm cod the type of place where the varsity quarterback was also the valedictorian and got a scholarship to Dartmouth. Find msm cod He recalled a moment in his youth when he asked his parents to buy him a video-game system, find msm 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 msm cod youhave more respect for it, find msm cod" said Lloyd.

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

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

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