Sandy Hook survivor surprised with scholarship at NY Rangers game

Thursday was a night to remember with the New York Rangers for one Connecticut teen.

Marissa Alter

Apr 15, 2023, 12:01 AM

Updated 368 days ago


Thursday was a night to remember with the New York Rangers for one Connecticut teen. Every year, after the final home game of the regular season, the players give some lucky fans their jerseys. Isaiah Marquez-Greene, 18, knew he was getting a shirt but scored way more from one of his favorite players.

Team captain Jacob Trouba gave Isaiah a signed jersey, then invited him to the bench to talk, where Trouba told him, “I know your story. I feel for you. You're an amazing human.”
At the age of 8, Isaiah survived the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. His 6-year-old sister Ana Grace did not.
“He’s a hard worker. He’s really overcome a lot to be where he is, but he understands that's part of his responsibility, right? To be a good, productive citizen,” his mom, Nelba Marquez-Greene, told News 12.
Isaiah is now a senior at the Taft School where he's a top student and was the hockey team's starting goalie. He wants to be a lawyer and is headed to UConn, where he’s been accepted to the university's special program in law.
On Thursday night, Trouba gave Isaiah a $60,000 college scholarship from Garden of Dreams, a nonprofit that works with MSG Entertainment and MSG Sports to touch the lives of kids who've faced serious loss. The Marquez-Greene family has been a part of Garden of Dreams for about 10 years and was on hand to witness the surprise.
“This is the kind of thing that changes lives,” his mom told News 12. “It's really a dream come true. And to get it from the captain?!”
But it turned out the scholarship wasn’t the last thing from Trouba. He also gave Isaiah his phone number.
“I want an invitation to when you graduate law school. I'm going to check in with you when you go to college next year,” Trouba said. “You're amazing, Buddy. I'm looking forward to what you accomplish in life.”
Nelba Marquez-Greene couldn’t believe it. “He gave him his phone number?! Like who does that? So we’re just riding high, feeling great.”
It meant a lot to the teen, especially since he’s been watching Trouba play since before his time with the Rangers. “I’ve been a fan of you since Winnipeg. I used to live there,” Isaiah told the veteran defenseman and former Winnipeg Jet.
Isaiah’s mom called the whole night very special and thanked Garden of Dreams, the donors, and the season ticketholders.
“They’re helping us get bits of normal back,” she said.
Over the years, Isaiah has participated in Jr. Rangers camps and attended several Rangers games with Gardens of Dreams. The nonprofit said he was an ideal candidate for the scholarship due to his academic performance, resilience, and leadership on his team and in his community.
The whole family, of course, will be cheering on the Rangers in the playoffs, but Nelba Marquez-Greene had a message for the team.
“I want them to know they win at life when they do this for children. They win at life when they give families opportunities for joy and also reminders they're loved and supported,” she told News 12.

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