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

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

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

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

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