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Patriot Brandon Lloyd opens playbook on life in Lowell High visit
By Pete McQuaid, order allegra pmcquaid@lowellsun.com

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE: http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_22080021/hes-got-game-plan-succe#ixzz2DjnHYEjx