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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Florida Reading Scholarship program helps twins stay on pace and excel in middle school

BY LISA BUIE TAMPA – Since they were babies, Darnell Taylor’s identical twin daughters, Janae, and Sasha, have loved books. First, picture books, then chapter books. Now, the 12-year-olds are finding novels on BookTok, the bookish community on TikTok, where people post videos recommending books, make pithy observations about reading, and share their love of literature. […]
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STEP UP FOR STUDENTS APPOINTS DENISHA MERRIWEATHER TO ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Step Up For Students, the nation’s largest education choice scholarship funding organization, is proud to announce that Denisha Merriweather has been appointed to its Board of Directors. The Jacksonville native becomes the first scholarship program alumnus to serve on the non-profit’s board. Denisha previously served as School Choice and Youth Liaison to Secretary of Education […]
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South Florida Auto Dealers Association contributes $21 million to fund Hope Scholarships for state’s most vulnerable students

Miami Beach, FL – Step Up For Students, the non-profit organization that manages Florida’s Hope Scholarship Program, recently recognized the South Florida Automobile Dealers Association (SFADA) and its dealer members with the Partners For Hope Award for supporting the program since its inception. Collectively, SFADA’s dealer members have contributed $21,887,000 to fund Hope Scholarships for […]
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Prenda microschools provide education choice opportunities for educators as well as students

After 13 years of teaching at district schools in Shreveport, Louisiana, Pam Lee was searching for something that would give the students what she called a “better opportunity” to succeed. Disappointed in Louisiana’s education system, which annually ranks near the bottom in the nation, Lee’s passion for her job was slowly eroding. She wanted to […]
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From class clown to class leader with the help of an education choice scholarship

TAMPA – One of Margene Avery’s first moves as principal at Tampa Bay Christian Academy was to install a student government. For junior class president, she chose Joshua Brutus, an immensely popular yet irresponsible student who was content to coast through high school. Joshua summed up his reaction in one word: “Me?” “My freshman, sophomore […]
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State, Step Up working to fund students

Several families with students on the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities (FES-UA, formerly Gardiner) and the income-based Family Empowerment Scholarship-Educational Options (FES-EO) recently have expressed frustration with delays in the first quarterly payment to their scholarships. Today, Step Up For Students and the Florida Department of Education sent this joint email to […]
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Adelante! Why a former Step Up scholar completed his UF degree during rookie season in NFL

Where to begin with CJ Henderson? That the former Step Up For Students scholar used his time wisely at Christopher Columbus High in Miami and earned a football scholarship to the University of Florida? That he turned three seasons with the Florida Gators into an NFL career, and in 2020 was drafted ninth overall by […]
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Tips on transitioning your child to a new school or learning environment

The Buddy Bench found on the playground at Christ the King Catholic School in Jacksonville is a yellow beacon that helps new students find playmates, make friends, and ease the transition to their new school. The Lunch Bunch provides the same opportunities, but in a private setting. These are two examples offered by Amanda McCook, […]
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Tips on picking the right school for your child

Because of the expanded eligibility requirements that went into effect July 1, more families in Florida are eligible for private school scholarships managed by Step Up For Students. The Family Empowerment Scholarship is now available to families with higher incomes, up to nearly $100,000 per year for a family of four. Also, dependents of active-duty members of the armed forces, […]
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Meet Kayla

While attending her neighborhood school growing up, Kayla felt like she didn’t belong and wasn’t being challenged. Her mother believed she’d benefit from more individualized attention but couldn’t afford tuition at schools offering those environments. Then, she found Step Up For Students! Kayla received the Florida Tax Credit scholarship for lower-income K-12 students, which afforded […]
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