An opportunity to learn more about the challenges facing young people and how to help them make informed choices comes to Enterprise Tuesday and the public is invited.
Michael DeLeon, founder of Steered Straight, is the keynote speaker at a community presentation Oct. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Enterprise City Schools Service Center at 1648 East Park Avenue.
The program is sponsored by Enterprise City Schools, said Debbie Hope, director of ECS student services. The public is invited and participation is free.
DeLeon will also deliver his message to all sixth through 12th graders at schools across the city and a parent learning lunch will be held Oct. 19 at EHS from 11 a.m. to noon.
Based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Steered Straight is a program DeLeon founded 17 years ago that teaches the reality of life choices and the danger of drugs. Her mission with the program is to educate young people to stay on track using her powerful personal message, Hope said.
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“We found that the ‘just say no’ message didn’t work, nor did the disciplinary and scare tactics,” DeLeon said on his website. “For students to actively want to stop using any substance, at any level and on their own, is the only method.”
Topics covered include the latest drug trends, the rapid increase in fentanyl-related overdose deaths, signs to look out for, and tips for preventing drug and alcohol use. Prescription drug abuse, changing trends with synthetic drugs, e-cigarettes, vapes, alcohol, and the overdose death epidemic will be discussed. Bullying and dating violence will also be addressed.
A former gang-affiliated drug addict, DeLeon spent 12 years in state prison and halfway houses for a gang-related homicide. His life mission now, he said, is to educate young people to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Steered Straight, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that has provided educational programs and materials to youth, families, and communities in all 50 states.
In 2020, DeLeon and his wife, Darla, were recipients of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a recognition of those whose service impacts communities and inspires those around them to action.
For more information, contact Hope at [email protected] or 334-347-9531.