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.

How to reach me out?

About The Author

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Earthquake survivor uses education choice scholarship to become a 'Rising Star'

MARGATE, Florida – Sophonie Jean Baptiste was in the family’s second-floor apartment the day in 2010 when an earthquake rocked her native Haiti. She grabbed her daughter, Gema, who was not quite 3, and tried to run for safety while the three-story building they lived in crumbled. They didn’t make it. Nearly five hours later, […]
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Cancer doesn't interrupt path to med school for alumni of Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program

It was the beginning of the 2019-20 school year and Luke Desclefs was smoothly sailing toward graduating Jacksonville’s Bishop Snyder High School that spring. His course load wasn’t heavy. His grades were in order. His plans for college were in place. Then in October, he noticed a lump on his neck. Cancer. Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a […]
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Education savings account allows Dylan to gain independence one step at a time

SEMINOLE, Florida – Dylan Quessenberry was 15 when he walked up a flight of stairs for the first time. It was 20 steps, linking two floors at his school. But for Dylan, who has cerebral palsy, that staircase was more than just a route to the cafeteria at Learning Independence For Tomorrow (LiFT) Academy, a […]
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Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company donates $5 million to help Florida students

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.– Step Up For Students announced April 28 a $5 million contribution to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program fromUniversal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPCIC), helping more than 655 Florida schoolchildren attend the K-12 school that best fits their learning needs. Since 2017, UPCIC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Insurance Holdings, […]
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Podcast: Florida mom looks forward to additional benefits of education savings account

reimaginED Senior Writer Lisa Buie talks with Karen Prewitt, whose son, Caleb, 15, is benefitting from a change in Florida law that is merging the McKay Scholarship program into the state’s Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities. Click here to listen to the podcast. Born with Down Syndrome, Caleb attends North Florida School […]
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Podcast: Young, energetic and eager to enlighten a new audience about Education Choice

On this podcast, Walter Blanks Jr. and Nathan Cunneen talk about their new endeavor, the School Choice Boyz podcast with Roger Mooney, manager, communications, at Step Up For Students. Both Walter and Nate are products of school choice. Nate attended Bradenton Christian School in Florida on a Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. Walter attended private schools […]
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Northeast Florida Catholic school lauded for outreach efforts to immigrant families

BY LISA BUIE A parochial school program intent on extending education choice to children of migrant workers has received a national award for its efforts. The National Catholic Education Association announced that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School in Palm Coast, Florida, will receive the Catherine T. McNamee CSJ Award. The award is given to an individual or institution […]
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Two families, football and education choice helps Junior realize his dreams of a college scholarship

TAMPA, Florida – Jessie “Junior” Vandeross considers himself “blessed” because: His father died when he was 3. He has a heart murmur that was detected when he was in the seventh grade and threatened to end his athletic career. The grim memories of the day his father passed away surfaced when Junior was in the […]
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Catholic high school returns to Key West. Scholarships help make it possible

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Catholic high school education will return to Key West. The Basilica School of St. Mary Star of the Sea, which currently educates students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, this week announced plans to add grades 9 and 10 in August 2023. The Basilica High School will be […]
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Sisters make education choice scholarships a family affair

It has been nearly a decade since Jasmine and Emily Rojas graduated Abundant Life Christian Academy as eighth graders, yet in a sense, they never left. The sisters still email or visit their former teachers and volunteer for school activities. When Jasmine needed a letter of recommendation for dental school, she turned to Abundant Life […]
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