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Patriot Brandon Lloyd opens playbook on life in Lowell High visit
By Pete McQuaid, free quibron t

All six of Brandon Lloyd's siblings have college degrees. Free quibron t 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, free quibron t" Lloyd told a room of Lowell High School students. Free quibron t "I looked at it as a means to an end. Free quibron t 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. Free quibron t Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, free quibron t along with the National Financial Educators Council, free quibron t sponsored Lloyd's visit as part of its MoneyStrong program, free quibron t which educates teens to be financially responsible through talks, free quibron t 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, free quibron t" said Michelle Silveira, free quibron t senior vice president at Jeanne D'Arc. Free quibron t "Even if they're saving as little as $10, free quibron t 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, free quibron t covering everything from the mysterious fine print of credit-card agreements to the financial implications of choosing the right college. Free quibron t The students watched video clips of celebrities such as John Salley, free quibron t Christian Hosoi and Wilmer Valderrama, free quibron t each of whom talked about the tough path he faced in achieving his dream.

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

Wanting to get a degree just like the rest of his family, free quibron t each of whom was able to afford college through academic scholarships, free quibron t athletic scholarships or even enlistment in the Air Force, free quibron t 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, free quibron t that's what helps you stay on course with all the distractions that high school and college throw you, free quibron t" said Lloyd.

Lloyd took a tour of Lowell High when he arrived at about 9 a.m. Free quibron t After the presentation, free quibron t he sat in on a business class and ate lunch in the school restaurant. Free quibron t Though he encountered many Patriots fans, free quibron t Lloyd feels like his life lessons are universal and that as long as somebody learns a thing or two, free quibron t he's happy.

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