All Post By Roger Mooney

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About The Author

Roger Mooney

If Roger thought covering the Tampa Bay Rays inexplicable run to the 2008 World Series was strange, imagine how he felt on the March afternoon in 2016 when he stood in the heart of Havana, Cuba while on assignment to cover the Rays historic game against the Cuban national baseball team. “Is this really happening?” he thought then. Ah, the life of a sports writer, where the unexpected is the norm.

My background story

From Little League to the World Series, Pop Warner football to the Super Bowl, Roger covered it all during his 20-plus years as a sports writer. He met everyone from Hank Aaron to Ben Zobrist, covered nearly the entire spectrum from youth sports to Florida and Florida State football to the Buccaneers and the Lightning. It was a good run, filled with great subjects for stories and a lifetime of memories, highlighted by a white-knuckle trip through the backstreets of Havana in a 1956 Dodge that did not have a working horn, speedometer or seatbelts. An unforgettable ride as the cabbie bounced through narrow streets to escape the traffic jam caused by President Obama’s arrival. Now, Roger is writing about students who benefit from the four scholarships provided by Step Up For Students. These are inspiring stories about children whose lives improved dramatically because of their new educational opportunities.

What I do before joining Step Up For Students?

Before joining Step Up, Roger spent seven seasons covering the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune and two years writing about the Rays and the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Bay Times. A native of New York City, Roger’s future as a hall-of-fame baseball player was derailed in high school when he could not make the baseball team. Undaunted, he sets his sights on writing. He studied at St. John’s University and dabbled in real estate and technical writing before finding his first job at a newspaper.

What I do on my day off?

When not working, Roger enjoys running (he has completed three marathons and has his sights set on someday running a fourth), reading (his goal is 20 books a year), bike riding, canoeing and kayaking with his wife, Suzanne, watching sitcoms (Superstore and Young Sheldon currently top the list) and taking his mixed beagle, Story, on long walks.

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About The Author

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'Better options' for their daughter included a move to America and an education choice scholarship

Roberto Porras was at his job as a pharmaceutical rep in his native Venezuela when his wife, Ony, called with the news that she was pregnant. It was the spring of 2003, and Roberto, overjoyed at the thought of becoming a dad, was concerned about the baby’s future in a country rife with political unrest. […]
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School is not out for summer at TRU Prep Academy, which has adopted a year-round schedule

MIAMI GARDENS, Florida – The calendar said it was July 6, but parents pulled their cars to a stop outside TRU Prep Academy and students stepped out wearing their standard school attire – black slacks, white shirts, and red ties. School is out for summer in most parts of the country, but at TRU Prep […]
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How do you turn students into readers? At Alpha Learning Academy, by turning a classroom into a library

ORLANDO, Florida – Shakelia Henderson sat behind the desk inside a classroom that was recently converted into a library and nodded at the shelves full of books that lined the walls. “This,” she said, “is the beginning of a literacy journey that’s going to make our kids stronger. I really do believe that.” Henderson just […]
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After taking charge of his education, Step Up alumni achieves goal of attending University of Florida

On a Wednesday morning in early January, a day after he turned 20, Josep Amiguet walked into a classroom inside Matherly Hall on the edge of campus for his intermediate microeconomics class, his first as a student at the University of Florida. “OK,” he remembers thinking, “I’m here.” It took three years of laser-like focus […]
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Former Step Up For Students scholar chasing major league dream

On a sun-dappled Sunday afternoon in mid-April, Jay Allen gave his mother a gift she will treasure forever. With Deanna Singletary among the family members sitting in the front row behind the third base dugout at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, Jay hit his first home run of the season for the Daytona Tortugas, […]
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School Choice Boyz: Christopher Columbus High in Miami shows a recipe for success

Nathan Cunneen offered some thoughts on Christopher Columbus High School in Miami after he and Walter Blanks Jr. visited the school earlier this year, Nathan and Walter teamed to form the School Choice Boyz, a podcast to bring the value of education choice to a younger audience. They work for the American Federation of Children, where […]
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Johnson Brothers of Florida, Inc. allocates $12 million to help Florida students

Johnson Brothers of Florida, Inc., announced June 2 a $12 million contribution to Step Up For Students, helping nearly 1,575 deserving Florida schoolchildren access the right education to help them succeed. Since partnering with Step Up For Students in 2012, Johnson Brothers of Florida, Inc., a leading wine, spirits, and beer distributor, has generously funded […]
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Education choice alumni has clear vision for his future: 'I want to be a missionary'

FORT MYERS, Florida – Zechariah Edwards sat inside the principal’s office at Sonshine Christian Academy one morning during the final days of his senior year and talked about his future. “I want to be a missionary,” he said. Interesting. Why? “That’s a pretty good question.” After a few moments of thought, he said, “As a […]
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CDW Helps Provide Technology Resources and Digital Equity to Step Up For Students

CDW has partnered with Step Up For Students to help provide technology resources and digital equity for recipients of Florida’s Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities, and the Reading Scholarship program. “At CDW, we understand how important it is for students to have access to the technology resources they need to be successful […]
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New autism center in Florida Keys offers education, therapy, resources – and hope

For 23 years, the Carrie Brazer Center for Autism in Miami has served students on the autism spectrum and others with neurodiverse conditions. During that time, Brazer, a Florida-certified special education teacher with a master’s degree in special education, noticed that families from the Florida Keys were driving as much as three hours to come […]
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