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

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

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

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

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

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