On Wednesday, students at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia, were surprised by a visit from alum and Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen. During his visit on the day of the team's new identity reveal, the 2022 Pro Bowl selection handed out gear, making the Stone Bridge students among the first in the DMV area to get Commanders swag. Allen, rocking a Commanders jacket, recorded a video to fans with an excited crowd of high schoolers in beanies, lanyards and masks.
Wednesday was one of the biggest days in team history, and Allen chose to spend hours of it with kids in his community. For the team captain, moments to give back like the one at Stone Bridge today aren't afterthoughts; they are an important part of his life as a professional athlete in Washington. The two-time Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee has put service at the core of his football career.
Much of that motivation to make a difference off the field stems from a childhood rife with instability. He spent time in foster care before his father won custody of him and his brother.
Allen was finally able to plant himself at Stone Bridge when he was a freshman in high school. From there, he sprouted, becoming one of the country's top defensive line prospects. Fast forward a few years (and several college accolades) later, Allen was selected by Washington in the first round 2017 NFL draft. Since then, he's become one of the Commanders' most valuable members. Through his words and his actions, Allen has shown that this team isn't just a stop for him.
"This is my home," he said. "This is where I want to stay."
Allen has worked to make connections and donate resources to DMV institutions. In particular, Allen, along with his wife Hannah, have developed a deep relationship with D.C.'s Sasha Bruce Youthwork, an organization focused on improving the lives of runaway, homeless, abused and neglect youth and their families. The Allens have helped build the organization's new, decked out technology center, donated gifts and food over the holidays and more.
The burgundy and gold Allen is set to rep this year might look different, but his commitment to to engaging with the DMV community in meaningful ways remains the same. His visit today at Stone Bridge represents a beautiful and powerful kickoff for a new chapter under a new identity so strongly rooted in the value of service.
To grab Commanders masks, beanies and more, visit the team store today!