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SBHS and The Making Hope Happen Foundation Honored One of Their Own

By Stella Pierce
Community Writer
07/08/2024 at 02:46 PM

In a moving ceremony on June 27, San Bernardino High School (SBHS), the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), and the Making Hope Happen Foundation (MHHF) honored one of their own, Alexander Mattison, by retiring his jersey. The star running back for the Las Vegas Raiders returned to his alma mater to a boisterous and warm embrace from the community that saw him rise from a dedicated student-athlete to an NFL standout.


The hour-long ceremony held at the SBHS football stadium was not just about celebrating Mattison’s professional achievements but also his unwavering commitment to his roots. It was an evening filled with emotional reunions, heartfelt speeches and a palpable sense of pride and unity. Family, friends, former coaches and community members gathered on a balmy evening to pay tribute to a young man who has become a beacon of hope and inspiration for his hometown. Mattison, who graduated from SBHS in 2016, has not only excelled in his professional career but has also remained a dedicated and inspirational figure in his native San Bernardino. 


“Seeing my jersey, #22, retired at San Bernardino High School, the place where my dreams began, is incredibly humbling,” Mattison shared, his voice filled with emotion. “This community has always been my foundation. It’s here where I learned the values of hard work and perseverance, and it’s these lessons that have carried me through my career. That’s why I hope to inspire the next generation to dream big and work hard.”


Mattison’s journey from SBHS to the NFL is a story of resilience and dedication. Born and raised in San Bernardino, he excelled in both academics and athletics. As a dual language immersion graduate, he began learning Spanish at Lincoln Elementary School, attended Arrowview Middle School and graduated from SBHS as a fluent Spanish speaker. His former Pop Warner Coach, Michael Aragon, reminisced about his determination and leadership on the field, traits that have defined his career with the Minnesota Vikings and now the Raiders.


SBCUSD Superintendent Mauricio Arellano spoke of Mattison’s influence beyond his athletic prowess. 


“Alex is a shining example of what our students can achieve,” said Arellano, himself an SBHS alumni. “His powerful story is a testament to the strength of our community and the power of dreams. He has not only made us proud through his achievements on the field but also through his unwavering commitment to giving back.”


Mattison’s impact extends far beyond football. He has remained actively involved in community service, using his platform to inspire and uplift the youth of San Bernardino through his I Am Gifted Foundation. His visits to his alma mater and his involvement in youth sports programs have made a significant difference, serving as a reminder of what can be achieved with dedication and support.


The highlight of the ceremony was the unveiling of Mattison's retired jersey, which will be displayed in the halls of SBHS. It stands as a symbol of excellence, hope and the limitless potential within every student.


As the event concluded, the sense of community pride was unmistakable. Mattison’s story is not just about athletic success; it’s about the power of dreams, the importance of community support and the enduring impact of giving back.