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

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

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

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

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

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