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

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

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

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

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

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