I choose to be involved in Start Talking Grandview because I am motivated to help our community realize the impact of substance misuse, and rise above stigma to understand the disease of addiction. As a health care provider, I have served individuals actively using drugs and as an advocate for access to health services. Through these experiences, I have come to see first hand that no community, family, or person is immune to the impact of substance misuse. Engaged with Start Talking Grandview since 2015, I work to bring forward current research based education, resources for support, and generalized awareness to model safe and healthy behaviors.
My husband Bob and I have lived in Grandview for the past 30 years and raised our four boys in Grandview. While raising our family and working part time as an accounting clerk/office assistant for the United States Trotting Association, I served on the RLS, Edison Intermediate and High school PTO's and other volunteer positions in the schools. I plan to apply the hands on skills I have developed over the past 30 years to collaboratively work with my fellow board members to develop initiatives that further enhance the mission of Start Talking Grandview. I have a heart for the Grandview Community and for the mission of Start Talking Grandview.
As a parent of two students who graduated from Grandview Heights City Schools, as well as the parent of a current fourth-grader, I obviously have a vested interest in our schools and our community and the types of information that my sons and others receive here. I also have 11+ years of recovery, so I am keenly aware of the temptations and risks students face with substance use and abuse. I’ve gone down paths that I don’t want my sons or others to take. Our job as adults in general is to guide those in our schools/community so they’re equipped with information and insight that will guide their decision-making in their formative years. Where substance use and abuse is concerned, it is even more critical that we exercise great rigor in that guidance and education. While we cannot guarantee students will always make the best decisions, we would be doing them a great disservice if we don’t guide them with candor and transparency. Prevention and education are inexpensive tools for preventing substance abuse. I’m living proof that people do recover, and I can be a resource for others as we all navigate this situation together,
As an educator of 30 years, I have seen first hand students struggling to fit in, find purpose and confidence. With increasing availability and culturally accepted use of substances for a variety of reasons and increasing need for quality mental health and wellness services, I believe the mission of STG is vital to support all generations. My husband and I have lived in Grandview since 2013 and have one graduate and one soon to graduate. Raising kids has been enjoyable and at times difficult. For us, having a strong faith and surrounding ourselves with friends we can confide has been crucial to raising our kids through the young adult years. Problems still happen, but a support system can mean all the difference when navigating challenges. STG engages the community in conversation about difficult topics that affect all of us and seeks to provide education and support for families. For these reasons I see STG as one valuable avenue people can use to build or widen their support system if they choose. No one should have to face challenges alone. I’m honored to serve the community through my involvement with an organization that educates and connects people in this way.
Alison Gessner Rooney
I am honored to serve on the board of Start Talking Grandview. Born in NJ, a graduate of Georgetown University, I moved to Grandview with my family in 2018 from a neighboring suburb. I am a professional in the non-profit arena, empowering small non-profits to make a big impact.
I am committed to the important work of Start Talking Grandview because I have seen how addiction and alcoholism impact individuals and families nationwide and more specifically in the suburbs of Columbus—without regard for age or socioeconomic demographic. I am eager to promote constructive and informed conversations around substance use disorders, and in turn reduce the stigma which often keeps people from getting the help they need for themselves or their loved ones in a timely fashion. Like all diseases, early intervention maximizes the chance for a return to good health.
Being a Grandview Alumnus and person in recovery who spent most of his using/drinking days in the Grandview area I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be apart of this movement. Having moved back to the Grandview area I wanted to hit the ground running and share my experience with as many people as I could in the community. Understanding that this disease can take place any where anytime regardless of gender, race, or demographic must be understood. All students/ young adults can be at risk to the disease of addiction, my goal is to share my story and maybe plant a few seeds that could help anyone at risk or struggling in the future.
Grandview Heights School Board Liaison
Kevin Guse has lived in Grandview Heights with his wife, Emily, and two daughters, Evie and Ellie, since 2014. Kevin holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Zoology from Michigan State University, teacher licensure from California State University-Northridge, and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University.
Kevin is excited about the partnership between Grandview Heights schools and STG as a unique opportunity to move forward with positive health initiatives and messages to the parents and youth of our community.