NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Jury deliberations started Thursday in the case of alleged gang members accused of murdering Bronx teenager Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz.
Although he’s been gone for nearly a year, his name lives on through a new summer camp called Camp Junior.
Junior was just 15 years-old when he was murdered last year outside a bodega near his home. Now The Fresh Air Fund, which runs five summer camps, is starting Camp Junior at Harriman State Park – about 30 miles north of the city.
“We are opening a camp just for kids from the Bronx, boys and girls ages nice to 13,” Fatima Shama said.
“To provide children from the Bronx another option in the summer, a chance to be kids.”
Junior’s mother Leandra has visited the camp and says children need to see there are many more options than getting involved in gangs.
Lissette Jorge ‘s 12-year-old daughter Perla has never been to camp, but she’s heading to Camp Junior.
She added that raising three kids in the Bronx is tough.
“Being in the neighborhood, what we see through the window… I’m scared as a mom to even take my daughter to the park,” Lissette Jorge said.
She said it gives her peace of mind knowing her daughter will be safe during the two-week sleep away camp.
Parents can apply online at The Fresh Air Fund website. Camp Junior is free and many of the people running it are from the same place as the campers.
“This is our camp director who’s a young man from the Bronx who’s been enrolled in our program since he was six-years-old,” Shama said while showing CBS2’s Cindy Hsu the camp’s website.
“So here’s young man from the Bronx who’s been a part of our program who’s now come back to lead.”
Junior’s mother is also committed and plans to visit with the campers.
“I really want to thank Leandra, the mother of Junior,” Jorge said.
“Even though she’s passing through this pain, she’s thinking about other kids in the Bronx.”
Camp Junior will serve 500 campers this summer and they’re hoping to double that number next year.