Bob Holmes joins us today in the Anomic Age to discuss the increasing number of suicides occurring in schools across the country. Bob messages for teens and adults about anti-bullying, never giving up on dreams, the effects of drugs and alcohol, encouragement, intentional living, and moving towards a passion filled life!
Bob grew up in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Bob has a family, a wife and 3 girls. His compassion for others keeps him on the road across the country getting out the message that you too can “Beat the Odds”. He really wasn’t much of an athlete. In fact, Bob was a very shy person. He never played volleyball in high school or college. Bob did a lot of traveling which caused him to develop a bad back. His doctor recommended that he get more exercise and it was at that time that Bob began playing volleyball with a friend in their backyard. “We played 3 or 4 times a week, usually after evening programs. After watching the famed Globetrotters entertain a crowd and seeing the joy they brought to young people, I came up with the idea of a one-man volleyball team. This way, I could demonstrate to people that they can beat the odds just as I was doing on the court.” At the age of 29, Bob called a high school principal in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. “I had a meeting planned there and asked if I could play a few games, just by myself, against the kids and another game against the faculty. No doubt, the principal thought that I wouldn’t have a chance, so he said yes. I played the students and the faculty, had a lot of fun and won. After that, I called another school and before I knew it, I had 11 schools lined up.” As of April 2018 he has been in over 6000 gymnasiums and has performed in front of and spoken to over 6,000,000 teenagers and adults. Bob has been traveling around the country helping the teens and adults of our country see that they can “Beat the Odds”. When the One Man Volleyball team passes off the scene he wants the epitaph to read: It wasn’t the volleyball, but the message that kept me going, and that message is billions of times more important than my game.
We are happy to have Michael DeLeon on this episode. Michael is an award-winning filmmaker and has directed and produced four documentaries on addiction, focusing on the opiate and heroin epidemic in America, marijuana legalization and Addiction Recovery. His memoir, “Chasing Detours” will be released in 2019. There are numerous other film and book projects underway.
Michael R. DeLeon, a successfully acclimated ex-offender who after nearly 8 years of drug addiction and gang involvement, spent 12 years in state prison and half-way houses for a gang-related homicide. Since Michael’s release from prison, he has earned 3 Associates Degrees, a Baccalaureate Degree in Business Management, with a minor in Criminal Justice and a CADC Educational Certificate. Michael is now in the process of obtaining his Masters Degree in Addictions Counseling at Liberty University as well as pursuing his LCADC.
He is the founder of Steered Straight, Inc. A non-profit organization formed in 2000 designed with the intention of carrying a prevention message to youth and young adults regarding the extreme dangers of drugs, gang-involvement and criminal activity. Michael spends his time developing Steered Straight by stressing the importance of young men and women making sound, rational decisions in their day to day lives. Michael also founded the Project Pride Program while incarcerated in prison. After pitching the idea for this program to then Commissioner Jack Terhune, he worked to develop the message that consequences can be severe and life-lasting. Project Pride which is still in existence at the New Jersey Department of Corrections, is the largest prison outreach program in America.
Michael has spoken to over seven million students and young adults as a motivational speaker in many facilities delivering evidence-based student programs around the country. He has presented in centers and schools in 48 states thus far.
Michael speaks and presents to youth, parents, educators, law enforcement, medical professionals and community groups throughout the country. He presents to in excess of 1.5 million people each year. He created two additional educational arms of Steered Straight: Recovery Army and Faithing Addiction, both of which target specific audiences throughout America to educate and prevent addiction and build and support Recovery.
In addition to being a speaker and presenter, Michael is an award-winning filmmaker and has directed and produced four documentaries on addiction, focusing on the opiate and heroin epidemic in America, marijuana legalization and Addiction Recovery. His memoir, “Chasing Detours” will be released in 2019. There are numerous other film and book projects underway.
Along with all of his other works, Michael is a Television Talk-show host, in his fifth season on “Road to Recovery”. Airing in the Philadelphia market, Michael hosts the second most-watched show on the SNJTV network and discusses addiction and recovery-related topics with weekly guests.