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25th Anniversary: Sonny Lee – 2015 Angel Award Honoree

On Dec. 21, 1992, the Louisiana Secretary of State recognized the incorporation of the Louisiana Child Caring Foundation — the entity that eventually became the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation.

In recognition of our 25th anniversary, we’re catching up with grantees, starting with our 23 classes of Angel Award honorees. 

 

As a child, former New Orleans Saint Sonny “Bivian” Lee knew the challenges of growing up without both parents. His late father, Bivian Lee, also a former saint, died when he was just 3 year old.

In honor of his mother and late father, Lee founded Son of a Saint in 2011. The nonprofit organization provides boys who do not have a physical connection with their fathers with mentors, tutoring, community service opportunities, mental health treatment and other self-improvement activities.

Since receiving the Angel Award grant in 2015, Son of a Saint has seen a lot of growth.

The program has increased from 40 to 60 boys. They have also been able to increase the number of programs and activities, such as tutoring and camps, that they offer.

The organization was also recently able to hire a program manager, something Lee was doing before. He no longer has to be a one man band, Lee said, and now is now working to hire three more full-time people.

Along with growth has come new success. Two of the teens who were with the program from the beginning have graduated high school and are attending college.

In 2017, Son of a Saint officially partnered with the University of New Orleans.

The partnership gives the nonprofit a dedicated space at UNO that they can use for meetings and  programs. The athletic department is also volunteering 2,500 hours between the fall and spring semesters each school year.

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