2013 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
|New Orleans||Bivian “Sonny” Lee, III|
The New Orleans Division honors Bivian “Sonny” Lee, III, founder of the Son of a Saint non-profit organization and a mentor to fatherless young men.
Mr. Lee founded the Son of a Saint organization in July 2011, as he recognized that so many young males were left fatherless due to incarceration, death, or abandonment. As the name indicates, Mr. Lee is the Son of a Saint. His father was Bivian Lee, who played in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints and died of a heart attack at the age of 36, leaving 3-year-old Sonny fatherless, just like the youth he now mentors.
Mr. Lee founded the organization on the principles of providing life skills, tutoring, mental health care, and guidance to young men ages 9-18, many of whom don’t have a father figure in their lives. To enroll in the Son of a Saint program, a participant must reside in a home where no male 18 years or older resides. Young men must maintain both passing grades and satisfactory conduct in school and must successfully complete a minimum of four hours of training within the Son of a Saint education and mentoring program.
In addition to providing one-on-one interaction, drug and violence prevention counseling, leadership training through organized sports, and life lessons, Mr. Lee emphasizes the importance of community service to program participants. He facilitates monthly community service projects to assist with citywide clean-up endeavors, feeding the homeless, and other random acts of kindness. It is Mr. Lee’s hope that through his program, he can help stop the chain of fatherlessness that has affected so many young men.