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  Sullivan had always lived in poverty. Neither of his parents, Yvonee and Ronnie Simon, graduated from high school, and they struggled to support four boys. Sullivan bounced between Texas and Louisiana. He felt embarrassed when the school bus picked him up from the hotel. His parents incarcerated, Sullivan slept below the bridge for a few nights until his little league football coach, A.D. Jenkins, picked him up at a gym. "I don't really try to remind myself of what I went through," Sullivan said. "I try to block it out. Me telling people and me talking about it, it still hurts a little bit."

Sullivan hasn't told most of his friends about his life, much less the public. The family he lived with in high school didn't know he once slept under a bridge. So why did Sullivan share this at a media session near the beginning of LSU's preseason camp? Sullivan spoke because, last Friday, the senior tight end graduated from LSU. As he walked across the stage as the first person in his family to receive a college degree, Sullivan thought about his life. The bridge. The nights he didn't eat. The constant struggle to find clothes. He had changed his life, accomplished something he never dreamed of, and he wanted people to find inspiration in his story. "If I can do it," Sullivan said, "you can do it." - Baton Rouge Advocate

(DS#12 TE) Sr/2020 TE Stephen SullivanLSU
News Source: Baton Rouge Advocate



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