October 10, 2016
WRITE TO BEAR ALMS
Halima and I had to have Bivian "Sonny" Lee, III on the podcast. He is the founder of Son of a Saint, a mentoring organization named as a tribute to Sonny's dad, late New Orleans Saints player Bivian "Sonny" Lee, Jr. Having lost his father when he was only three-years-old, Sonny saw the need to create an organization that provides guidance to young black males between the ages of nine and 13. Son of a Saint serves young men whose fathers have either passed away or have been incarcerated. The organization's work has been featured on CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera America, and Sonny earned a BET Award in 2015 for his work.
Halima wanted to get an idea of what motivates Sonny, why Son of a Saint is important, and what it takes to maintain the organization. Beyond mentoring from a diverse group of men, Son of a Saint provides mental health services, field trips, and other activities such as horseback riding. We even learn that there may be Son of a Texan in Houston and Son of a Cowboy in Dallas!
The real pleasure of having Sonny on the podcast, however, is what he and I have in common. We both graduated from St. Augustine High School and were both included on New Orleans Magazine's "30 People to Watch" list. I am even prouder that I am part of the St. Aug alumni chapter (DFW) that provided funding to pay the tuition of two Son of a Saint mentees.