Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett is happy to shine the community spotlight on Son of a Saint, named the 2020 “Nonprofit Organization of the Year” by New Orleans CityBusiness. The nonprofit organization exists to transform the lives of fatherless boys in New Orleans through mentorship, emotional support, development of life skills, exposure to constructive experiences and the formation of positive, lasting peer-to-peer relationships.
As a Son of a Saint Mentor, associate Austin Brackett is excited to share the news that the organization broke ground on its new headquarters in Mid-City. In 2020, Ochsner Health pledged $1 million to the nonprofit. The donation was used to acquire and renovate its new headquarters. Ochsner will also hire case workers and mental health specialists to further enhance Son of a Saint’s team capacity and overall capabilities.
About Son of a Saint
Bivian “Sonny” Lee, III founded Son of a Saint on January 1, 2011, in honor of his late father, Bivian Lee, Jr., a New Orleans Saints defensive back who died when Sonny was just three years old, and his single mother. As an adult, Sonny came to understand the struggles and challenges his mother faced, and he gained a real appreciation for the opportunities he had as a child — opportunities the average boy would not be afforded. From access to psychiatrists who helped him navigate through anger issues associated with the loss of his father, to the ability to participate in sports leagues and enjoy relationships with teammates and coaches, Sonny was convinced that the array of opportunities made him who he is today.
Sonny aims to “pay it forward” and replicate his own experience for a special group of fatherless young males in the community. Son of a Saint is a wellspring of positive influence when it’s needed most by the boys who need it most. Young mentees forge relationships with volunteer mentors, counselors and tutors that develop over a long period, providing consistent support, guidance and encouragement.
Each year, Son of a Saint selects a group of boys ages 10-12 to join the existing kids in their program. The boys must be fatherless due to their father’s death or incarceration. Each boy remains an official Son of a Saint mentee until age 18, but the connection remains until age 21 as Son of a Saint continues to advise these young men into young adulthood. The goal is to graduate self-sufficient, independent thinkers who are leaders and give back to their community.
Son of a Saint mentees are exposed to horseback riding, fishing, yoga, music, chess, the arts and more. Every boy participates in at least one of these activities weekly. Mentors also support and encourage the boys in their extracurricular activities.
Regular daylong mentorship sessions are designed to aid in the boys’ academic, personal and overall development. Kids and mentors also frequent outings, such as sporting events, educational trips, movies, dining, parades and volunteer activities.
Son of a Saint pairs boys in need of educational support with qualified tutors and works to provide middle school and high school scholarship to attend tuition-based schools in the New Orleans area. A coach works 1:1 with boys to help them in identifying interests and goals, forming college and career plans, and connecting them with internship or job-shadowing experiences.