Founder of Steered Straight, Inc. to give series of talks
April is National Alcohol Awareness Month. In recognition, RiverView Recovery Center and several partners are planning free events in the region.
Presenting at these events will be Michael DeLeon, founder of Steered Straight Inc., a non-profit organization that focuses on steering youth in a positive direction, teaching them about life choices and helping them understand the consequences of their actions.
“I don’t want my past to be their future,” DeLeon said. “My 63-year-old mother was strangled and killed on Mother’s Day, and I’m 100 percent responsible for that. I brought this madness into her life. I stand before you as a person who has to live with that fact for the rest of my life.”
After nearly eight years of drug addiction and gang involvement, DeLeon spent 12 years in state prison and half-way houses for a gang-related homicide. Today he describes himself as “a successfully acclimated ex-offender.” Since his release from prison, he has earned three associates degrees, a baccalaureate degree in business management, with a minor in criminal justice; and a certified alcohol and drug counselor educational certificate. He is now in the process of obtaining his master’s degree in social work, as well as pursuing his licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor standing.
DeLeon travels the country sharing his personal journey of the troubled road of a life entwined in drugs.
DeLeon also founded Stay in Your Lane Media and has produced documentaries, including “Marijuana X’’ with Congressman Patrick Kennedy for parents and educators documenting the changing trends of marijuana and concentrates; “An American Epidemic” a documentary about the opioid crisis; “Kids are Dying” a documentary looking at the opioid crisis in a city in the USA; and “Higher Power’’ which documents the spiritual foundation in a strong recovery of many people who have found that journey to be guided through spiritual principles.
The following events will feature DeLeon and are free and open to the public:
• April 15, 6:30 p.m.: Freedom Church, 308 Demers Ave., Grand Forks. Sponsors for this event are Celebrate Recovery; Freedom Church, Grand Forks; RiverView Recovery Center; and the Glenmore Foundation.
• April 16, 10:30 a.m.: RiverView Recovery Center, 309 N. Labree St., Thief River Falls. This event is sponsored by RiverView Recovery Center and the Glenmore Foundation
• April 17, 7 p.m.: Roseau City Center, 121 Center St. East, Roseau. This event is sponsored by RiverView Recovery Center, the Glenmore Foundation, the members of the Community Justice Collaborative Committee, and the LifeCare Health Care Fund.
DeLeon will also present at closed sessions at the Polk County DWI Court, Pennington County DWI Court, Roseau County DWI/Drug Courts, Douglas Place Inpatient Treatment, Roseau High School and RiverView Recovery Center in Crookston.
For more information on these community events or recovery programs offered at RiverView Recovery Center, call RiverView Recovery Center at 281-9511.