First is April 24 in Crookston

    April is National Alcohol Awareness Month. In recognition, RiverView Recovery Center and several partners are planning free events in the Crookston and Grand Forks/East Grand Forks communities.

    Presenting at these events will be Michael DeLeon, founder of Steered Straight Inc., a non-profit organization that focuses on steering youth in a positive direction, teaching them about life choices and helping them understand the consequences of their actions.

    “I don’t want my past to be their future,” DeLeon said. “My 63-year-old mother was strangled and killed on Mother’s Day, and I’m 100 percent responsible for that. I brought this madness into her life. I stand before you as a person who has to live with that fact for the rest of my life.”

    After nearly eight years of drug addiction and gang involvement, DeLeon spent 12 years in state prison and half-way houses for a gang-related homicide. Today he describes himself as “a successfully acclimated ex-offender.” Since his release from prison, he has earned three Associate’s Degrees, a Baccalaureate Degree in Business Management, with a minor in Criminal Justice, and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor educational certificate. He is now in the process of obtaining his Master’s Degree in Social Work, as well as pursuing his Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor standing.

    He travels the country sharing his personal journey of the troubled road of a life entwined in drugs.

    DeLeon also founded Stay in Your Lane Media and has produced several documentaries, including “Marijuana X’’ with Congressman Patrick Kennedy for parents and educators documenting the changing trends of marijuana and concentrates and “Higher Power’’ which documents the spiritual foundation in a strong recovery of many people who have found that journey to be guided through spiritual principles.

    The following events will feature DeLeon and are free and open to the public:

    • Monday, April 24, 7 p.m.: Care and Share, 220 E. 3rd St., Crookston – This event is sponsored by RiverView Recovery Center, Glenmore Foundation and Northdale Oil, East Grand Forks.

    • Tuesday, April 25, 6:30 p.m.: Freedom Church, 308 Demers Ave., Grand Forks – DeLeon will also present “Higher Power’’ at this session. Sponsors for this event are Celebrate Recovery, Freedom Church, Grand Forks; RiverView Recovery Center; Glenmore Foundation and Northdale Oil.

    • Wednesday, April 26, 6:30 p.m.: University of North Dakota Student Union, The Loading Dock, 2901 University Ave., Grand Forks – “Marijuana X’’ will be shown at this event. Sponsors for this event are: Sober Student Group: Been There Done It; RiverView Recovery Center; Glenmore Foundation and Northdale Oil.

    DeLeon will also present at closed sessions at the Northwest Regional Correction Center, Crookston High School, Fosston School District, and Douglas Place in East Grand Forks.  

    For more information on these community events or recovery programs offered at RiverView Recovery Center, call the RiverView Recovery Center at 281-9511.