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Scholarship honoring Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz created by Police Foundation

Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was a member of the NYPD Explorer program.

A portrait of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz in his NYPD

A portrait of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz in his NYPD Explorer uniform was created by artist Jonny Castro following the teen's death on June 20. Photo Credit: Jonny Castro Art

The NYPD and New York City Police Foundation have established a new scholarship program to honor Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, the 15-year-old boy who was murdered in a gang-related attack in the Bronx last week.

The Lesandro Guzman-Feliz Memorial College Fund will provide two $5,000 scholarships to young people enrolled in the NYPD Explorer Summer Academy. It will be funded by the Police Foundation and administered by the NYPD and Explorer program.

Guzman-Feliz, who was known to friends and family as “Junior,” was an active member of the department’s Explorer program before his death on June 20, when a group of men dragged him out of a bodega and stabbed him multiple times in the neck with machetes. Police have said they believe Guzman-Feliz was targeted in a case of mistaken identity.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill was expected to announce the scholarship Thursday night at the Law Enforcement Exploring Leadership Award ceremony.

“NYPD Explorers come from the communities in which they volunteer and learn about the importance of higher education, self-discipline in reaching their goals, and the rewards of a career in law enforcement,” O’Neill said in an emailed statement. “There is no better way to honor a young man whose stated dream was to become one of the greatest detectives in the world than by establishing a memorial scholarship in his honor.”

The scholarship can be used to fund tuition and pay for school supplies upon enrollment in an accredited college for the fall semester. Criteria is still being established and the first award is expected to be announced in August.

“Out of this tragedy, future students like Junior will be able to pursue their dreams and, just as importantly, his name will live on,” Susan Birnbaum, president and CEO of the New York City Police Foundation, said. “The New York City Police Foundation joins all of the members of the NYPD and the City of New York to extend our deepest sympathies to his family.”

Eight men, some of whom are alleged members of the Trinitarios street gang, have been charged in connection with the teen’s murder. NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea has pledged to leave “no stone unturned” in the investigation.

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