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

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

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

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

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