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Choices Matter

CSN students recently had the opportunity to hear from two important speakers addressing similar issues.

Mr. Michael Deleon’s voice was loud and his energy was high, making it easy to capture the attention of the faculty and students that filled the bleachers of the Moe Kent Family Field House on Friday, April 29.  Speaking from his heart, with timely pockets of humor, he delivered a powerful and impactful message. Through Steered Straight, Inc., a non-profit organization he founded, he hopes that sharing his journey of addiction and recovery will have a profound impact on youth and encourage them to make positive life choices. His visit to our grade 8-12 students proved to be both engaging and eye-opening, shedding light on the reality that drugs are accessible and substance misuse has no boundaries. 

Twenty-four hours later, on Saturday morning, some CSN students along with other community members were listening to another story with a similar message. Poised and confident, rising 9th grader George Haseotes, with authentic admiration, introduced a special guest speaker, Mr. Darren Waller.  As the NFL Las Vegas Raiders tight end addressed the audience, his stature was intimidating, his words were warm and gentle, and his message was powerful. He shared his inspirational story of hope, resiliency, and recovery. Now, leading by example, he is committed to his physical and mental health. Reflecting on his journey, he learned that self-awareness, self-control, and self-confidence are essential to making good choices. He emphasized that when he found the strength to say “no,” he was saying “yes” to himself.  He is grateful that he overcame substance use disorder and can now be a beacon of light for others.

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