Role Model

Bivian “Sonny” Lee, III

Founder, Son of a Saint

Annually since 1986, YLC has selected a class of outstanding New Orleanians who serve as Role Models by actively contributing to the betterment of the Greater New Orleans region. These individuals are an inspiration to YLC’s young professional members and to the community at large.

Bivian “Sonny” Lee, III is the founder of Son of a Saint, an organization that enhances the lives of fatherless boys through mentorship, emotional support, development of life skills, exposure to constructive experiences, and formation of positive, lasting peer-to-peer relationships.

Sonny founded the organization in honor of his father, Bivian Lee Jr., who was a defensive back for the New Orleans Saints from 1971-1975. His father died suddenly and tragically from a heart attack at the young age of 36. Sonny came to understand the struggles his mother faced and he gained an appreciation for the opportunities he was afforded as a child. Through Son of a Saint, Sonny aims to “pay it forward” and replicate his own experience for a special group of fatherless young males in the community.

Prior to founding the organization, Sonny served as chief aide to Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. He was previously Director of Operations for the New Orleans Zephyrs AAA baseball team and earned a degree in marketing and management from the University of New Orleans. A TEDx speaker on community service, decision-making, and the importance of education, Sonny’s nonprofit work has been highlighted on CNN, Al Jazeera America, NPR, and local television stations and newspapers.

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Photo credit: Gigsy Photography