Michael R. DeLeon, a successfully acclimated ex-offender who after nearly 8 years of drug addiction and gang involvement, spent 12 years in state prison and half-way houses for a gang-related homicide. Since Michael’s release from prison, he has earned 3 Associates Degrees, a Baccalaureate Degree in Business Management, with a minor in Criminal Justice and a CADC Educational Certificate. Michael is now in the process of obtaining his Masters Degree in Social Work at Liberty University School of Social Work as well as pursuing his LCADC.
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 powerhouse behind Steered Straight Inc., a non- profit organization formed in 2000 and designed to carry an important message to youth on the extreme dangers of drugs, gang involvement and associated criminal activity. 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 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. Throughout the country, Michael now leads a team of talented speakers who present a realistic and powerful prevention message. His “no holds back” message resonates well with student assemblies, faculty and parents.
Stay In Your Lane Media, the media arm of Steered Straight, was founded by Michael in 2012, and has produced four award winning documentaries, Kids Are Dying, An American Epidemic, Marijuana X and Road to Recovery. His fifth documentary, “Higher Power is currently in post-production. Michael has also produced multiple public service announcements, as well as educational and instructional videos on prevention and Recovery
Michael founded a project of Steered Straight, Inc., called “The Recovery Army”. Recovery Army’s mission is to recruit everyone to wage war on this pandemic of addiction. He tours the country in a Recovery Army Tour bus visiting communities with educational resources, films and books. He visits schools, prisons, jails, treatment centers, Churches and community organizations addressing each group with catered messages and presentations. He captures stories of Hope and Recovery and has produced over one hundred video stories on the Recovery Website….
Forty-seven states have experienced Michael DeLeon – one of the most passionate prevention speakers you will ever encounter. He is a member of many associations, committees and boards, but more importantly, he will take the time to answer questions from any youth and talk with anyone in his audience. Why? As Michael says, “I don’t want to just affect one kid; I want to affect them all.”
To learn more about Michael’s story, go to http://itcanthappentomeism.com/
Brief Presentation History
Michael has spoken to over five million students and young adults as a motivational speaker in many facilities delivering evidence-based student programs around the state of New Jersey, and in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Washington, DC, North and South Carolina, Texas, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Indiana and throughout New England.
- NJDOL/Workforce Development, 2009 Alumni Award
- Member of Cumberland County, NJ, Community Justice Panel, Office of Community Justice
- Member of Vineland Violence Prevention Policy Board, Project Assistant, 2010-2013
- Member of Camden Violence Prevention Policy Board, Project Assistant, 2012/2013
- Member of Cumberland County Prevention Policy Board, Project Assistant, 2013-present
- Appointed to the Cumberland County, NJ, Human Relations Commission
- Chair of Cumberland County Healthy Communities Coalition, Southwest Council, Vineland, NJ
- Member of Cumberland County Juvenile Reentry Team
- Received the Vineland, NJ Grapevine Publication, 2011 Hometown Hero Award
- Appointed to NJ Governor’s Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Criminal Justice Subcommittee
- Appointed to Cumberland County College Board of Trustees, 2012-2016
- Appointed to the NJ Minority Concerns Committee, Vicinage 15
- Member of Ocean County D.A.R.T. Coalition
- Past Vice Chair of Prevention Coalition of Monmouth County
- Member of Cumberland County, NJ, Youth Services Advisory Council
- Chair of YSAC, Minority Concerns Committee
- Received three Joint Legislative Resolutions by both Houses of the New Jersey State Legislature
- Appointed to the NJ State Parole Board Re-Entry Task Force for Cumberland County
- Appeared as a Keynote Speaker and Presented workshops for the following organizations:
- New Jersey Drug Court State Conference
- New Jersey Drug Court County Conferences
- New Jersey Association of Student Assistance Professionals
- New Jersey Juvenile Detention Association
- Southwest Council
- Gloucester Regional Addictive Substances Prevention Coalition
- Burlington County Department of Human Services
- NCAAD – New Jersey
- New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission
- Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of New Jersey
- Probation Association of New Jersey
- Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Jersey
- NCAD – National Conference on Addiction Disorders
- Mid-Atlantic States Corrections Conference
- Vendome Healthcare Media and Addiction Professional
- U.S. Journal Training and Behavioral Health and Addiction Disorders
- Presented in every New Jersey county to staff and students
- Hosts a weekly radio show on Recovery Radio,com called “Solutions” that explores the different approaches to solving addiction in America.
- Hosts a weekly television show on SNJTV,com (Comcast 22, WCAU-NBC) Southern New Jersey/Philadelphia markets, called, “The Road to Recovery” which presents a weekly guest discussing the different aspects of addiction and recovery.
- Wrote, Directed and Produced “Kids Are Dying” a documentary on New Jersey’s Overdose Epidemic, in 2013 that won four Film Festival Nominations and Awards for the REEL Recovery Film Festivals in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and DelRay Beach, Florida. This film also won a Silver Lei at the Honolulu Film Festival and won the Best Shorts Competition in Hollywood in two categories.
- Wrote, Directed and Produced, “An American Epidemic”, a documentary on the national overdose epidemic plaguing the Country. Presently in post-production and is being considered by numerous cable television programs. It has been selected by 6 REEL Recovery Film Festivals.
- Wrote, directed and produced a documentary film, “Marijuana X” with Congressman Patrick Kennedy for parents and educators documenting the changing trends of marijuana and concentrates.
- Currently producing a documentary film on the importance of Faith in Recovery called, “Higher Power” which will document the spiritual foundation in a strong recovery of many people who have found that journey to be guided through spiritual principles.
- Published articles in, “Keys To Recovery”, a national Recovery newspaper.
- Published article in, “The Program”, a national Recovery magazine.
- Published article in, “Counselor”, a national online magazine.
- Published articles in, “Sober World”, a national Sobriety magazine
- Published articles in “InRecovery Magazine, a national Sobriety magazine
- Published articles in “The Grapevine”, a Southern New Jersey newspaper
- Currently finishing my memoir called, “Chasing Detours”
- Currently finishing my second book, “Chasing My Destiny” – The Steered Straight story