Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had the day off from work on Tuesday, but he didn’t put his out-of-office message on. No, Hurts took to the streets to visit city schools and community centers in various neighborhoods. It was a multiple-stop tour where he personally talked to students.
Hurts touched down at Nebinger School in South Philly to participate in the KB Foundation’s mentorship program. He surprised kids inside the Walter B. Saul High School gymnasium where he honored the memory of Nicolas Elizalde, the 14-year-old shot outside Roxborough High School. He had a long emotional chat (via The Inquirer’s Josh Tolentino) with the Elizalde family.
Then, the MVP candidate visited the Hank Gathers Community Center in North Philly where he donated coats and lifted spirits. Hurts comes across as genuine and committed to his new hometown in every interview.
“The joy that they find in watching my success, it gets them through their problems,” Hurts told reporters. “It’s surreal to kind of see that, you know everything matters. The fans, the city, they support us through thick and thin. When we’re in the Linc and it’s turned up, they’re with us. And when we’re on the field and we travel, they’re with us. So, it’s a Philly thing.”
Meek Mill, Michael Rubin Visit Eagles Practice Facility
Hurts was seemingly all over town in what he called a “day of care.” His most-publicized activity happened at the NovaCare Complex at the first-ever “Eagle for a Day” experience. There, Hurts teamed up with Michael Rubin and Meek Mill’s REFORM Alliance, an organization that aims to transform probation and parole by changing laws, systems, and culture to create real pathways to work and well-being.
The Eagles hosted more than 30 children in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area who have been negatively impacted by the criminal justice system, or those who have a parent in prison for technical probation violations.
“I think yesterday was a very memorable day in the community,” Hurts told reporters. “I take so much value [in community service], and it definitely affects me when you have the opportunity to impact people in the way that we do. These kids don’t get the credit they deserve. And definitely not the encouragement they deserve.
“They can do anything they put their mind to. Seriously put. It’s all about trying to create better opportunities for our future. I think given the platform that I have, I try to do it in a way that I can present and give them that encouragement in person and tell them that I’m somebody who cares.”
Jalen Hurts Drops Knowledge on ESPN
Hurts started his “day of care” by jumping on ESPN and doing an interview with Philly native Kevin Negandhi. He broke down everything REFORM Alliance was doing, then talked a little bit about his surging case for MVP. He used the opportunity to remind everyone he hasn’t arrived by any means.
“I think the reality for me is I’ve never changed from my whole entire journey, my whole entire career, to this point,” Hurts said. “One thing I’ll tell you is there is no arrival. There is no point where you will say that you have arrived. There’s only the journey. And I’ve embraced the journey, I take it one day at a time, and we just want to continue to grow.”
Hurts also shared the spotlight with his Eagles teammates. They have bigger goals than individual awards.
“I feel like when you have people around you that are chasing the same thing, they really bought into the process of getting better, they’re bought into one another, they know that no man is an island, you have to draw your strength from others,” Hurts said. “You know that everything is done together as a team. I think the more we can grow as a team and as we can stay committed as a football team and doing stuff together, connecting, and being fundamentally sound, and knowing our details in everything we’re doing, you know we just want to continue to take those steps.”