STEERED STRAIGHT, INC. is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that offers motivational school assemblies and community programs that stress the importance of making good, positive decisions by being straight with kids about the dangers of making poor choices. (LEARN MORE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW)
2nd Floor, Steered Straight's 24 Hour A Day Partner 2NDFLOOR is a confidential and anonymous helpline for New Jersey's youth and young adults. We are here to help you find solutions to the problems that you face at home, at school or at play.
Steered Straight' sends powerful life messages to children, teens and young adults
By Karen Stebbins at 1:24 pm on Thursday February 13, 2014
Michael DeLeon is on a mission. A mission to educate the youth to stay in the right direction when it comes to serious life issues, especially drugs.
Michael is the founder and force behind Steered Straight, Inc., a non-profit educational and prevention/intervention organization. Steered Straight’s program reaches out to children, teens and young adults with a message of reality about life-choices and the importance of consequential thinking so that they understand that there are consequences to their actions. The Steered Straight program has reached more than one million students around the area.
The reality of the message comes from Michael himself, who was entwined in the life of drugs and traveled a troubling road to get to his future.
“I remember this one incident where my family’s life became endangered because of my involvement with drugs. A drug deal I was in had gone terribly wrong. I could have lost my wife and daughter because of the path I was going down.”'Steered Straight' sends powerful life messages to children, teens and young adults
Then one of the best things that could have ever happened to Michael happened. He was arrested and served a 10-year sentence: two years in a halfway house and probation.
“I want the kids to look at me and hear me and my story and I want them to understand that no one wants them to go through what I went through and that their futures are so bright.”
Michael has a way of reaching out to the youth so that they understand and listen to him. One of the biggest problems in our society is kids don’t think they can reach out to an adult like their parents, counselors and teachers when they have an issue. Michael assures them they can because his program works.
Steered Straight brings powerful speakers to schools all over the area to speak to kids of all ages about bullying, drug use, violence, etc. Some of Michael’s speakers have similar experiences to his that they share with the kids as examples of what those negative choices can not only do to themselves, but to those around them. The presentations are unlike any I have ever attended when I went to school. The kids are entranced with the speakers and actually participate and you can just tell that it is clicking in their heads. Michael tells a story of a student in one of the schools who came up to him and told him of a story of how her boyfriend had come home from college and brought over some pretty harsh pills. She made the excellent decision to ask him to leave and then spoke to her mother about it. She made the decision to end the relationship when he chose not to give up the drugs. She could have been another statistic, but she told Michael that she remembered his seminar at her school and how his story affected her and influenced her in a positive way.
Some may feel that our children need to remain sheltered from these realities. However, we as parents, educators, mentors, role models and adults need to accept that times are indeed different. Michael has seen drug use in kids as young as eight years old. Older siblings are a huge influence nowadays to the younger generation. Parents need to be made aware that kids are encountering these issues and the numbers prove it. Our area has seen an overwhelming increase in heroin use in recent months. It has become an epidemic.
As if Michael wasn’t already doing enough with his crusade to end drug use, his program offers a mentoring program where an at-risk youth who is in need of one-on-one mentoring can get that service. He has also partnered up with 2NDFLOOR, which is a confidential and anonymous helpline for New Jersey's youth and young adults.
“I hand out these bracelets after every seminar at a school or wherever I am speaking that has Steered Straight written on it and on the other side of the bracelet has the number for 2NDFLOOR. 2NDFLOOR reports that 3 out of 5 calls they receive come from Michael’s bracelets. Michael is currently wrapping up a powerful and potentially highly influential documentary that will be finished in the next few weeks. Steered Straight is rapidly expanding. Michael and his wife have sold all of their stocks and emptied their savings to fund this program. This is Michael’s life, to make sure kids don’t make these critical mistakes.
“I don’t want to just affect one kid; I want to affect them all.” For more information or to donate or to see how to get Steered Straight to speak at your school or event, please visit http://steeredstraight.org. Karen Stebbins is a mom of four and wife of a loving husband who shares her love of sports (or else she wouldnt have said yes). Karen is an experienced paralegal and freelance writer on a variety of topics. Sports is her passion and her love of the game is undeniable.
The overdose epidemic in New Jersey is worse than it has ever been in history. Heroin and other Opiates such as prescription pain medication is literally killing people at record levels. When we set out to tell this story, we quickly learned that this problem not only exists in our state of New Jersey, it plagues the entire Country.
Numerous national cable companies have looked at this film, and through the nearly two years of filming, as we worked on this project, it became obvious that they wanted to tell this story from a national perspective. The New Jersey part of this story is so compelling, and it leads into the conversation as to why it exists everywhere, we feel it necessary to release two films.
At the beginning of February 2014, we will release, “Kids Are Dying in New Jersey”. The reason this first film will be of interest to everyone is that New Jersey is extremely unique when it comes to Heroin. We have the purest Heroin in the Country, and sit between two of the largest distribution points in America. We have such unique suburban and urban settings, that the crossover damage is extremely obvious.
By February of this year (2015), we will complete the second film, “Kids Are Dying - An American Epidemic”. Both of these films will tell this story from a new perspective. They will address the problem and more importantly, explain how we got to this stage. Second, it will describe some of the collateral factors such as urban gang involvement, the pharmaceutical component, and organized crime. Lastly, and most important, it will explore the solutions to ending this epidemic.
You can ORDER our first film now. Click on this link: www.kidsaredying.org/purchase.html It will ship to you the next day. It only costs $5 plus shipping and handling. All proceeds will go to Steered Straight, a non-profit organization, to bring drug prevention programs into elementary, middle and high schools.
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The following agencies and organizations offer assistance to teens in crisis, with drug problems and many other issues. Please take advantage of these services if you feel you are in need of them. The services offered are all strictly confidential.
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"Their stories had the impact they wanted. The bored looks or inattention that often accompanies teenagers in such circumstances gave way to interest." By Vince Conti - Cape May County Herald
"I have never in my forty years in public education, seen a program hit the mark and so move an entire student population." William Bodkin, Dean of Students, Comsewogue High School, Port Jefferson Station, NY
Making A Difference in The Lives of Students Every Day You've come to my school on a few occasions and I must thank you for that; you have impacted my life. Your entire manifesto of keeping people in their lanes instead of just endeavoring to scare them works tremendously. Prior to your visit, I was uncertain what I would do if someone offered me some substance that I knew would have a negative effect on me. Post Steered Straight, I became confident in my ability to turn it down. I just came upon the realization that after your visits to Bell Oaks Upper Elementary my GPA began to increase. You've stressed to me how important everything right now is. How each and every decision I make has some impact later down the road. I don't know how often your audience members and followers tell you this, but you make a difference. I mean that in the truest sense of the words. Because of you I shall remember, all through my life until I am no longer in this world, to Stay In My Lane. Thank you.