For Educators & Professional Development

From Prison To Purpose

Michael DeLeon is one of the most powerful speakers you will ever hear. He served 12 years in prison for a gang-related homicide, one he did not commit, but one which he knew he was responsible for. Michael pled guilty in a very emotional and complicated case involving the murder of his own mother by people tasked to kill him. The death of Michael’s mother is part of his story, the worst part. Michael is the first one to tell that he did many bad things, hurt many people, broke nearly every law written, but now, for the last 22 years, Michael has worked tirelessly to make a difference in the world.

Michael’s journey travels from trauma, which he has coined “the first gateway drug”, through addiction, to incarceration to redemption. It was in prison where Michael found his purpose. Following his release in 2007, Michael founded Steered Straight, Inc., a non-profit organization designed to educate youth on the dangers of drugs.

Most booked school presenter in America, Michael DeLeon!

Michael is now the #1 booked school presenter in America, has visited more than 9,500 schools and presented more than 27,500 assemblies to students, educators, school administrators, parents and communities in all 50 States, touching the lives of more than 14 million with his truth about drugs message and the importance of making positive, informed choices. His “no holds barred” message resonates with students, faculty, parents and community members. He is also a leading expert on Vaping and THC. For 17 years, Michael has traveled across the country, making a difference in the lives of youth by sharing his story of addiction and incarceration. This is Michael’s life mission and he is intent on making sure that not one kid ever makes what was his past become their future. Michael lives to make a difference with America’s youth.

Empowering Teachers, Administrators & Professional Development Staff

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Steered Straight is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of America with a powerful message of prevention in order to steer them toward positive life choices. We offer a series of Professional Development Seminars to educate teachers, administrators and professional development staff on the behaviors, identification, laws and consequences surrounding the issues at hand. We also discuss methods for appropriately recognizing and addressing situations related to bullying, gang involvement, and drug and alcohol use/abuse.

Our Mainline Presentations Include:

Vaping Me Crazy

#1 Requested School Assembly in America
The Truth About Marijuana & Vaping

The marijuana legalization movement has increased use in youth to all-time highs and directly links to adolescent use of e-cigarettes and vapes. According to the CDC:

  • Middle school use in excess of 15%; high school use exceeds 30%.
  • Marketing these products is aimed toward adolescents and unregulated by the FDA.

The hidden agenda: Hook kids early while telling parents and community marijuana is a harmless plant, no more dangerous than alcohol.

With the dynamic shift from what marijuana once was, it has been genetically modified into a commercialized and industrialized toxic poison. Legal states are selling 100% pure crystals, waxes and e-liquids, commercially marketing them across America and selling them to today’s youth over the internet.

Kids think it’s safe because most parents think it’s safe.

  • This assembly is aimed at opening the eyes of students, educators, parents and professional development so they question their own misconceptions about marijuana and what it can do to the developing brain. Gives the real scoop on how THC from marijuana is commercially available for e-cigarettes, and the connection and marketing being done directly to kids.

Fentanyl Awareness – One Pill Can Kill

“Fake & Fatal” the Truth about Fentanyl

An in-depth student presentation to address a prevalent and deadly epidemic affecting adolescents today: prescription drug misuse, abuse and overdose. The presentation focuses on opiates, opioids and education on other prescription classes, along with the truth about Fentanyl and its effects on our youth today.

Here you learn the facts about Fentanyl and how taking just one pill can kill you.
Driven by fentanyl, the rate of fatal teen overdoses doubled in 2020 and has tripled among teens over the past two years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Per a Harvard professor, “The risk with fentanyl isn’t just addiction or other side effects—it’s simply death.”

Participants are provided with methods of fentanyl prevention, how to avoid involvement and prevent it from affecting them and personally. You will leave with an intense understanding, fentanyl awareness and heightened caution about prescription medication and how to view these products in a more critical way.

Straight Talk – Current Drug Trends

With a growing epidemic across America for drug overdose and overdose death, there has been a lack of real information for parents, educators and professional development. In this seminar, we cover how the age of first use, experimentation and regular, habitual use and abuse has lowered, hitting our kids at an even younger age. This seminar explains the signs and symptoms, what to look for and how to collaboratively bring solutions to this social epidemic. This is information you must have!

Cultural Diversity & Motivating Students Suffering From Poverty

This seminar addresses the unique and atypical issues that students deal with in districts that have a very diverse culture as well as a high concentration of families that live well below the poverty line. These districts also contain a large number of students that have either a parent incarcerated or live with a guardian other than a biological parent. The effects of incarceration on the children is something that few educators are trained in. This workshop specifically addresses techniques and methods to teach through these issues. There are specific tools that can be used to motivate students that deal with these issues and exact methods will be discussed and developed.


These workshops are completed in one 2-hour or 3-hour session, which counts for Continuing Education hours.

For information on speaking engagements and lectures:
Call 856-691-6676 or email

What Educators Are Saying

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I have been in education for 38 years and have attended countless PD workshops. I have never attended a more interesting and eye-opening workshop as I have today. Mr. DeLeon is dynamic. I will never forget this seminar.

Egg Harbor City Staff Member

One of the best speakers I have heard.

Staff from IL schools

People need to be available like Mr. DeLeon to present more often.  This presentation is pivotal information that all children need to know.

Middle School Staff Member in AZ

I hope he comes back when my child is old enough to attend to hear about harms & effects these things will have on him!

Staff from a Group of Elementary, Middle Schools, and High Schools in KY

Fantastic!  Many of our students connected with the stories that Michael shared.  The School Counseling Dept. cannot say enough about how much we loved having Michael speak & the impact he had on many of our students!

High School Staff from SC

This was the best workshop our district has ever hosted. It has opened my eyes like never before.

Deerfield Township Staff Member

Michael does an outstanding job of connecting to the students.  I received nothing but positive feedback from students, staff, and our parents who attended.

High School Staff Member in NJ

I enjoyed that the presenter started with resources to assist educators, parents, and grown-ups that work with children. I enjoyed the information being shared.  Definitely learned a few new things.

Elementary School Staff Member in AZ

A wonderful presentation! This powerful message should be heard by everyone!

Staff from KY schools

Mr. DeLeon's presentation was amazing.  He kept the students engaged and made an impact.  Two vapes were given to him at the end of the presentation.

High School Staff from TN

I want to thank the Monmouth County Office of the Public Defender for providing an unforgettable workshop. Steered Straight definitely changed how I will view gangs.

Long Branch Educator

Thank you, Mr. DeLeon, for this vital information.  You changed so many lives today! 

Middle School Staff Member in AZ

Real life, much needed presentation!  Engaging!  Staff and students were engaged and listened.

Staff from a Group of Elementary, Middle Schools, and High Schools in KY

Content was absolutely appropriate for high school students.  Speaker had a frame of reference that was respected by all students.  In their terms, 'he had street cred.' Lots of information and images helpful for those not familiar with the various types of vaping devices.

Staff from KY schools