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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Education choice scholarships lead to right environment which leads to bright futures

BY ROGER MOONEY MIAMI – Louise Janvier uses the word “environment” often when talking about education choice and how it can rescue a child. “Sometimes, when a kid is going to go through things in life, they have to be in the right environment in order to pull through,” she said. “Some of them don’t […]
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Learning job skills, gaining confidence and making a very big friend with the help of an education choice scholarship

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Not every student at North Florida School of Special Education rides Chief within minutes of meeting the big horse, but that’s what James Guha did one day during the summer of 2021. Oh, it took some encouraging and a little cajoling from Andrew Sack, the barn manager. Chief is big and a […]
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JJ Humphrey sees nomination for acting award as 'big deal' for him and other neurodivergent actors

What intrigued JJ Humphrey about his starring role in the play, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” was his ability to relate to the lead character. While never mentioned in Mark Haddon’s novel, Christopher Boone, the protagonist, is on the autism spectrum. So is JJ. A neurodivergent actor playing a neurodivergent character. […]
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King family offers a dozen reasons why 'one size doesn't fit all' when it comes to education

LAKE MARY, Florida – The King family is together on a Saturday morning – and that means kids everywhere. Christy and Troy King have 16 children, including 11 who were adopted. The oldest is a college graduate who lives on her own. Three are off to college in Ohio. That leaves 12 at home, and […]
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Two Step Up For Students schools earn coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools distinction

Holy Spirit Catholic School, a preK-8 school in Jacksonville with an enrollment of 219, and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, with a student body of more than 2,000, are the only schools in Florida to earn the coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools distinction for 2022. Both schools have students who receive education […]
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Willette's story: Vibing to her own frequency and helping everyone she meets along the way

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Willette Treadway wants to help. She wants to help her classmates, teachers and administrators at North Florida School of Special Education, where she is in the Secondary 3 classroom. She wants to help her family and friends. She wants to help the homeless population in Jacksonville. “One thing about me,” Willette said, […]
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Republic National Distributing Company donates $82 million to help provide scholarships for Florida schoolchildren

Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), one of the nation’s leading wholesale alcohol beverage distributors, has contributed $82 million to Step Up For Students, providing more than 10,300 Florida schoolchildren with access to the right education to help them succeed. Since 2012, Republic National Distributing Company has generously funded more than 81,170 scholarships through contributions totaling […]
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Education choice scholarship helps Khairi dream big

ROGER MOONEY MIAMI GARDENS, Florida – Like nearly every football-playing high school senior in the country, Khairi Muhammad dreams of an All-American college career that leads to his selection near the top of the NFL Draft. The desire fuels him, sometimes waking him in the middle of the night with a burst of adrenalin so […]
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Gas South donates $500,000 to support Florida schoolchildren

Gas South, one of the leading natural gas marketers in the Southeast, has contributed $500,000 to Step Up For Students, helping more than 65 Florida schoolchildren attend a K-12 school that best fits their learning needs. This is the first year that Gas South has partnered with Step Up For Students, a nonprofit organization that […]
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Of courage, basketball and conquering the obstacles in his way: The Justin Williams story

OCOEE, Florida – Justin Williams was 8 when he underwent surgery to allow more room for his brain to grow. For two months he wore a halo brace and a plate on the roof of his mouth to push the bones in his face forward one agonizing millimeter at a time. At one point, Justin […]
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