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NC teens awarded Thurgood Marshall Scholarship from the NHL

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For almost a decade, the Capital City Crew has worked with the boys and girls club to help expose these kids to the game of hockey. (WTVD)

For almost a decade, the Capital City Crew has worked with the Boys and Girls Club to help expose kids to the game of hockey.

Now, one of the crew's brightest stars, Patrick Rosa, saw his involvement with the program pay off when it comes to his future outside the rink.

When Rosa first started with the Capital City Crew, he was quite the project.

"He could barely make it around the ice one time," said Capital City Crew on-ice coach Greg Meluch.

But Rosa was a fast learner.

"Within a year, he was skating full speed, and within two years he was playing on a team," said Meluch.

"I've been with the program for six years now, and I wanna say that was probably like the best decision I've ever made," said Rosa.

For the past three years, Rosa has served as a junior coach, helping kids who were once in his shoes.

"Just being able to skate every Monday with these guys on the ice is like a healing process, honestly," he said. "It's like therapy."

"He's a hero in the locker room to all of the kids," Meluch said. "You can tell when he walks in the locker room to help them get dressed, tie skates, to make sure their helmets fit right, he is as much of a leader, he is the biggest leader we have in the lockerroom right now."

The example Rosa has set on the ice has now paid off in an even bigger way.

Recently, the 18-year-old became the first crew member to receive a Thurgood Marshall Scholarship from the NHL.

"They did it in a conference call," Rosa said. "I was a little nervous. Me and my mom were just sitting at the edge of the phone like, 'What? Did they say we just got it? Yeah!' Words can't explain what this program has done for me, to be able to give me the opportunity to get this scholarship? It's amazing."

"We have 22 on-ice coaches with 64 kids, and all of us were absolutely elated and thrilled for Patrick," Meluch said. "What I tell him is he can do anything he wants to do, and he's proved that with what he's accomplished in school, what he's accomplished on the ice and now with (this) scholarship."

With this new award, Rosa continues to remain grateful for this program because it's helped him build life skills and taken him to new heights.

"I won the Wells Crowler award and that was an amazing honor because the program was based off of him, and I've been able to travel to places I've never been able to say," Rosa said. "I've visited Niagra Falls... It's just been life-changing."

Rosa will start at NC Central this fall, and his scholarship will help cover his first semester of tuition.

As for his time on the ice, he says his future will still include hockey... in a more philanthropic role.

"I plan on giving back to this program because they've done so much for me and honestly, I want to be able to come back and help fund the kids," Rosa said.

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sportsnhlscholarshipchildrenRaleigh
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