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Patriot Brandon Lloyd opens playbook on life in Lowell High visit
By Pete McQuaid, no rx copegus

All six of Brandon Lloyd's siblings have college degrees. No rx copegus 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, no rx copegus" Lloyd told a room of Lowell High School students. No rx copegus "I looked at it as a means to an end. No rx copegus 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. No rx copegus Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, no rx copegus along with the National Financial Educators Council, no rx copegus sponsored Lloyd's visit as part of its MoneyStrong program, no rx copegus which educates teens to be financially responsible through talks, no rx copegus 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, no rx copegus" said Michelle Silveira, no rx copegus senior vice president at Jeanne D'Arc. No rx copegus "Even if they're saving as little as $10, no rx copegus 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, no rx copegus covering everything from the mysterious fine print of credit-card agreements to the financial implications of choosing the right college. No rx copegus The students watched video clips of celebrities such as John Salley, no rx copegus Christian Hosoi and Wilmer Valderrama, no rx copegus each of whom talked about the tough path he faced in achieving his dream.

But the real star of the show was Lloyd, no rx copegus who spoke to thestudents for about 20 minutes about how hard work can lead to financial success. No rx copegus He told of his hardworking hometown of Blue Springs, no rx copegus Mo., no rx copegus the type of place where the varsity quarterback was also the valedictorian and got a scholarship to Dartmouth. No rx copegus He recalled a moment in his youth when he asked his parents to buy him a video-game system, no rx copegus 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, no rx copegus youhave more respect for it, no rx copegus" said Lloyd.

Wanting to get a degree just like the rest of his family, no rx copegus each of whom was able to afford college through academic scholarships, no rx copegus athletic scholarships or even enlistment in the Air Force, no rx copegus 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, no rx copegus that's what helps you stay on course with all the distractions that high school and college throw you, no rx copegus" said Lloyd.

Lloyd took a tour of Lowell High when he arrived at about 9 a.m. No rx copegus After the presentation, no rx copegus he sat in on a business class and ate lunch in the school restaurant. No rx copegus Though he encountered many Patriots fans, no rx copegus Lloyd feels like his life lessons are universal and that as long as somebody learns a thing or two, no rx copegus he's happy.

"I think that it doesn't matter how much money that (the students) will have in their future, no rx copegus because each of them, no rx copegus in some way, no rx copegus will have money in their future, no rx copegus" said Lloyd. No rx copegus "But all it takes is one kid. No rx copegus I come from a family of educators, no rx copegus 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.