The focus of photographer Sarah Blesener’s photo essay soon became not just about 15-year-old Chavi Leon, her original subject, but expanded to include the lives of six Mott Haven teenagers who became each other’s family of choice and who, like any other group of kids their age, experienced the ever-changing symptoms of adolescence.
Father Skelly and the Archdiocese of New York are completely against landmark designation, feeling that the financial burden of maintaining the church to historic standards will be too much for a congregation whose median income is $25,000.
On Jan. 20, Sampson suffered a heart attack, which ultimately took his life at the age of 73. As a sign of remembrance, Community Board 2 has voted unanimously to co-name East 163rd Street and Rev. James A. Polite Avenue after Sampson.