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

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

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

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

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

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