Introduction

 
Priorities -- A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, what sort of house I lived in, or what kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.
No one can predict the value that we have on other peoples' lives. Our experiences and examples can only stand on their own to influence the choices that other people make, whether they be deterrent factors or lessons.

But the children and young adults of today get such deceiving and detrimental messages from the world around us. It is our obligation, not less than our duty, to reach out to them in the hope that our life stories can serve as examples that negative life choices and negative life styles will solely bring negative consequences.

We need to deliver a message that will help children, especially teenagers, to:

  1. Question their assumptions about drug use and crime
  2. Analyze the social norms of the peers around them
  3. Develop a self-paradigm to live by, rather than the social mirror so many of them use to gauge their direction, and
  4. Learn to rationally and intelligently make the right life-choices.
With age comes reason. With experience comes reason also, but with experience comes so much more. Experience is the best teacher, and what better experience for youth than the realistic, living examples of poor life choices delivered to them by caring, learned, and sincere messengers delivering a message of hope and prevention.

Reaching out to the youth of our communities is a duty we all share, but especially for the ex-offender. So few men and women come back from that path to help guide the young travelers of today. Steered Straight accomplishes that goal for both parties: the messengers of hope and the ears and eyes of youth.

Steered Straight was founded in 2000 by Michael DeLeon. It has primarily been about the uniqueness of the messenger -- a successfully acclimated ex-offender -- someone who has suffered the consequences of negative decisions that can be easily identified by youth as a changed, motivated teacher. Our organization has grown to include dynamic motivational speakers that have NEVER been in trouble in their lives, yet have overcome incredible obstacles to deliver a powerful message about life.

The ex-offenders are dedicated to helping steer youth in a positive direction, rather than reliving the mistakes they have made. Those without criminal backgrounds are dedicated to inspiring youth to achieve greatness and overcome every obstacle that they might face.

All of these individuals -- both male and female, and representing various races and cultures -- come from backgrounds with which today's youth can identify. They have valuable stories to tell based on their own life experiences.

They have gone on to higher levels of education, developed into power speakers, and are successful and productive members of society. All are dedicated to steering youth to follow positive and productive paths.
 

 
Direct inquiries and comments to:
Email: michael.deleon@steeredstraight.org
Surface Mail: Steered Straight, Inc.;
P.O. Box 842
Millville, NJ 08332-0842
Telephone: (856) 691-6676