Testimonials

 

What Educators Are Saying

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your presentation today at our school. You and your partner clearly connected with our students. Aligning bullying with gang activity is right on target. The message was age appropriate for our students and the slide show was engaging. The feedback from the teachers and students was all positive. I would recommend your assembly to any elementary school."
Marge Kemerle
Guidance Counselor
Elms Elementary School, Jackson, NJ

"You both had captivating stories that held the students' attention from the moment you said 'good morning'. Your presentation was not only informative and necessary during these times, but you reached out to our middle school students to the point that they were talking about it days later. Your stories, PowerPoint, and constant message of 'staying in your lane' was unforgettable for both students and staff."
Michele Stigliano & Joan Garey-Lindsay
School Counselors
Howell Memorial Middle School, Howell Twsp., NJ

"Steered Straight is a program that is straightforward and addresses the difficult life issues that so many of our children have to face on a daily basis. They provide a much needed service and they have the personnel that can effectively communicate the message, sharing their own personal triumphs and defeats."
Mary L. Gillespie
Student Assistance Counselor
Middle School of Pleasantville, NJ

"The information you supplied our students with is very valuable and I appreciate your organization taking the time to come out and speak with our students about how they can make more positive and informed choices in their daily lives. Your presentation helped them to get a better understanding of the consequences they will have if they continue to make poor choices. I got excellent feedback from staff and students."
Rochelle Andress
Acting Assistant Superintendent
Harborfields

"As one of our most valued speakers for our recent Stand By Me Day, your presentation was integral to the success of our program. Staff members and students alike remarked on the relevance and significance of your message, as well as the engaging manner in which your presentation was made. If is apparent from the energy level and enthusiasm that you exhibited that your message is heartfelt and that you are able to connect with children on multiple levels."
Joseph Bolcato, Chairman
Stand by Me Day

"The presenters were well received by our freshman and sophomore classes. They not only attained the student’s attention, they commanded it. “You could have heard a pin drop” for real when they spoke to our classes. I whole heartedly endorse the program and hope that it could be maintained and present to every student in our county."
Leonard Stanziano, Principal
Toms River South High School

"On behalf of the Point Pleasant High School students who were fortunate enough to attend the assembly programs last week, I thank you and your staff. I cannot begin to tell you how many students and staff have gone out of their way to thank me for arranging such a powerful prevention program. The life lessons presented during the assembly’s were exactly what our students needed to learn, but rarely do."
John Foley, Substance Awareness Counselor
Point Pleasant Borough High School

"Steered Straight is a dynamic program that works well in a residential setting. The speakers tell different stories about how they went down a wrong path and recuperated by changing their negative past to a positive future. During the entire program you could hear a “pin drop”. This is unusual for our residents in one room."
Steve Plevins
Vineland Residential Center

"I have been teaching for 26 years, and I have seen many anti-drug programs come and go. “Steered Straight” is the best I’ve seen. You seem to have a formula that incorporates education, motivation and inspiration. Keep up the good work."
Denise Cleary, Teacher
Franklin Middle School, Nutley, NJ

"It is apparent that you made and impact on our students. Many of them reiterated the comments that were made by the speakers about doing the right thing and staying out of the prison system. We applaud you and encourage you to continue in this great effort to steer our youth in the right direction."
Enid Medina, Family Coordinator
Great Falls Academy, Paterson, NJ

"The lives of our young people were enriched through your honest, caring and thought provoking discussions. Our program works with young people who for the most part have been through our nation’s formal education system and juvenile court system, both of which have failed them, and they can no longer be “Scared Straight”. A program like yours understands this and works on educating, intervening and preventing future tragedies through honest testimonials and life experiences to which our young people relate."
Rev. Reginald D. Burl
International Youth Organization, Newark, NJ

"We feel that the Steered Straight direct approach helps the students relate to situations and allows them to see that they are not alone in their problems. From the topics and issues discussed during your visit, we were able to open discussions and unlock thoughts with our kids that were very heartfelt."
Taleasia McCants, Program Supervisor
Catholic Community Services, Jersey City, NJ

"By coming to speak to our students, you helped us in an immeasurable way. So often our children look at us as authority figures that know nothing about what they are going through. Your program strengthened our position that the problems they face are not unique. We appreciate your message and were so very grateful for your time and sincerity."
June R. Simmons, LCSW
Catholic Community Services
St. Leo’s Center, Irvington, NJ

"DeLeon is a strong voice of encouragement, positivity, and truth in an age where this message and story is so needed to be told. Hopefully many more students will hear his story and become aware of the harsh realities of gang lifestyle -- making the decision to turn away from it completely.”
Katie Fourqurean
Atlanticare, Inc.; Uptown Complex; Atlantic City, NJ

"I am writing to acknowledge Steered Straight. I am the Substance Awareness Coordinator for the school district located in Pleasantville , NJ . They did a program for our middle school in 2003. They did an assembly and then provided follow up support in the classroom. I was very impressed with their knowledge, expertise, and passion for the subject matter they presented. They did a presentation on the “consequences of life’s choices” but I am most interested in their presentation on “gang awareness and violence”.
Substance Awareness Coordinator
Pleasantville, NJ

"Steered Straight is a program that is straightforward and addresses the difficult life issues that so many of our children have to face on a daily basis. They provide a much needed service and they have the personnel that can effectively communicate the message, sharing their own personal triumphs and defeats. I look forward to working with them again."
Mary L. Gillespie, Student Assistance Counselor
Middle School of Pleasantville

"I have been teaching for 26 years, and have seen many anti-drug programs come and go. 'Steered Straight' is the best I've seen. You seem to have a formula that incorporates education, motivation, and inspiration. Keep up the good work."
Denise Cleary, Teacher
Franklin Middle School, Nutley, NJ

"It is apparent that you made an impact on our students. Many of them reiterated the comments that were made by the speakers about doing the right thing and staying out of the prison system. We applaud you and encourage you to continue in this great effort to steer our youth in the right direction."
Enid Medina, Family Coordinator
Great Falls Academy, Paterson, NJ

"The lives of our young people were enriched through your honest, caring, and thought-provoking discussions. Our program works with young people who for the most part have been through our nation's formal education system and juvenile court system, both of which have failed them, and they can no longer be 'scared straight'. A program like yours understands this and works on educating, intervening, and preventing future tragedies through honest testimonials and life experience to which our young people relate."
Rev. Reginald D. Burl
International Youth Organization, Newark, NJ

"We feel that the Steered Straight' direct approach helps the clients relate to situations and allows them to see that they are not alone in their problems. From the topics and issues discussed during your visit we were able to open discussions and unlock thoughts with our clients that were very heartfelt."
Taleasia McCants, Program Supervisor
Catholic Community Services, Jersey City, NJ

"By coming to speak to our students, you helped us in an immeasurable way. So often our children look at us as authority figures that know nothing about what they are going through. Your program strengthened our position that the problems they face are not unique. We appreciate your message and were so very grateful for your time and sincerity."
June R. Simmons, LCSW
Catholic Community Services
St. Leo's Center, Irvington, NJ


What Students Are Saying

"I think the presentation was very good. A lot of things that were said made me think about choices I’ve made in my life. I definitely learned something today."
8th Grader
Toms River Intermediate East

"Our school definitely needed to hear what Steered Straight had to say today. A lot of my friends and myself will benefit from what was said today."
9th Grader
New Egypt High School

"I don’t have to belong to a gang to be loved and accepted. There are positive “gangs” that I can join. It’s okay to say no. I need to get involved in positive things to stay on the right path of life."
11th Grader
Toms River South High School

Today I learned that it’s okay not to join a gang, that there are “escape mechanisms” that I can use to get out of a bad situation. I don’t have to do what my friends are doing if I know that what they are doing is bad. I need to do the right thing. Following the crowd is not always the right thing to do."
10th Grader
Toms River North High School

There are positive gangs that one can join, such as the Boys Scouts, the Girl Scouts, and youth groups. You don’t have to join a negative gang to be loved. Once you get into a gang, it’s hard to get out. I need to get myself into positive gangs."
10th Grader
Barnegate High School

"Steered Straight gave a very powerful message today. There are many negative influences in our lives, but we don’t need to go down the wrong path in life. Getting involved in positive gangs, working hard in school, and getting an education are what you need to do. Keeping busy is how you can stay out of trouble. If trouble comes your way, use an escape mechanism to get out of it."
12th Grader
New Egypt High School

"I think that they did an especially good job because they weren’t just there to tell us about drugs, they actually went through these things. I know that I learned a lot from the show and I would recommend these four people for any school because I think that some things that they said will stay with me for my entire life. I also think that every time they said something they made one more kid say no because of numerous reasons but the ones Darnell, Karen, Michael and Malik gave were the best.""
8th Grader
Franklin Middle School, Nutley, NJ

I don’t feel like I have to do what my friends are doing. I don’t have to feel stupid because they think I’m not cool. I can do what I know is the right thing to do; what my parents would want me to do. These people showed me that being cool keeps you out of prison because being cool is always doing the right thing, even if it’s not what my friends are doing."
6th Grader
Weed & Seed Summer Program

"I liked Malik. He taught me that I want to be ‘Proactive’, and not a ‘Reactionary’."
5th Grader
A.J. Demarest Middle School, Hoboken, NJ

"I couldn’t believe that these people would really care so much about us. They did so much time in prison, and now they’re spending so much time talking to us instead of having fun. First, I didn’t think it was going to be any good. But then, Michael told about someone my age that was never going to come home and I thought about my Mom and Dad and little Sister. I don’t think I’ll hang out with the gang anymore. I could be like that kid in prison. I’ve already seen a guy shoot someone."
9th Grader
International Youth Organization, Newark, NJ

I really liked the Steered Straight program. It helped me because I am going through some of the problems they had and I really saw how I could handle them. My Aunt died of AIDS and one of the lady speakers said that it was hard because she had a cousin who died of AIDS too. I got to talk to her after it was over and she helped me a lot."
8th Grader
Newton Street School, Newark, NJ


 
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