Isaiah Márquez-Greene, a survivor of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, got the surprise of a lifetime when he went to a New York Rangers game on Thursday, April 13, and met one of his favorite players.
Márquez-Greene — whose sister, Ana, died in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting at age 6 — knew he was going to receive a jersey from Rangers captain, Jacob Trouba, at the game. But what he didn't expect was for Trouba to present him with a scholarship for law school.
Márquez-Greene, 18, is getting ready to attend the University of Connecticut. He has already been accepted into the school's special law program, according to NBC affiliate WVIT in Connecticut.
In a video from Thursday's game, Márquez-Greene met Trouba on the ice and shared that he's been a fan of the hockey star since he played for the Winnipeg Jets.
After signing his jersey for Márquez-Greene, Trouba invited him sit on the Rangers bench. Calling him an "amazing human," Trouba shared that he knows Márquez-Greene's story and asked the incoming freshman what he wants to do in the future.
After Márquez-Greene responded that he wants to be a lawyer, Trouba handed him a certificate.
“This is for you,” he said. “It’s from the Garden of Dreams. It’s a scholarship for law school."
"No way," Márquez-Greene responded.
Trouba continued, "You’re going to graduate from college, you’re going to go to law school and you’re going to have no debt coming out of school.”
"You deserve it, man," he added.
After the pair took a picture together, Trouba gave Márquez-Greene his number and told him he wanted to check in with him when he goes to college next year.
"I'll text you," Márquez-Greene said.
“I’m looking forward to what you accomplish in life,” Trouba replied. “You’ve got a lot ahead of you.”
When the New York Rangers shared the sweet moment between Márquez-Greene and Trouba on Twitter, they captioned it, “Isaiah: You’re our inspiration. We can’t wait to see you right back here after Troubs watches you graduate law school.”
At the game, Márquez-Greene wore a pink Rangers jersey, which had his sister’s name on the back.
Ana Grace was one of 20 elementary school children and six educators who died in the Connecticut shooting.
Her family went on to establish The Ana Grace project, which supports arts education and the "Love Wins" curriculum and provides community trainings for mental health support.
Márquez-Greene’s mother, Nelba, also opened up about the heartfelt moment between Trouba and her son on Twitter.
She shared a clip of her son receiving the certificate and wrote, "This was a lot of beauty to hold at once. Thank you, @NYRangers, for keeping your promises."
"We are officially a @UConn family," she added. "Take good care of him, friends."
In another tweet sharing the news of her son's scholarship, Nelba Márquez-Greene penned a letter to Ana, thanking her for "looking after him."
"We miss you tons. There is no one to help me out of dresses. Your absence is felt so viscerally. We have so much work to do. Isaiah is thriving… but you already knew that. Love, Your mom," she wrote.