‘Camp Junior’ honors Bronx youth slain by gang violence
NEW YORK - Leandra Feliz lost her son Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz to gang violence a year and a half ago.
On Saturday, Manhattan College honored her efforts to build a stronger and safer community in his honor.
An emotional ceremony to place on the school’s basketball court as the Manhattan College Jaspers battled it out against the Niagara University Purple Eagles.
Dozens of special guests from “Camp Junior” were also in attendance. Camp Junior is a free sleep-away camp for Bronx children between 9 and 13 years old, operated by a non-profit called The Fresh Air Fund, with help from several state partners.
The goal of Camp Junior is to give inner-city children the chance to take part in social and recreational activities, like basketball and exposing them to new environments, and most importantly, driving them away from gang violence.
Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was jumped by a group of Trinitario gang members in June 2018 at a Bronx bodega, and stabbed to death with a machete. Surveillance video of the attack went viral, and hashtags soon swarmed social media with the saying #JusticeForJunior.
Feliz says she hopes Camp Junior will help keep her son’s memory alive and create a safe space for positive change.