Why were you led to start MRN? 

Fred: Talented, underprivileged student-

athletes are suffering academically in 

my hometown and ineligible to receive 

scholarships or entry for a college 

education.  Their post-high school 

opportunities are dismal because they 

have no skill or trade to qualify for a good 

job, earn a decent salary, and become a 

contributing member to society.  I want to 

play a big role in changing that outcome 

through our programs.

How did you come up with the name 


Tia: A national sports radio station was 

taking an online poll from fans to fi nd out 

which NY Giants player they wanted to 

hear from and a fan answered back, “Mr. 

Robbins’ Neighborhood please”, referring 

to my husband, Fred Robbins. That 

name stuck. It was perfect. It represented 

the community and support system we 

wanted to create for student-athletes. And 

of course, we loved the fact that the name 

is similar to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. 

We grew up watching his show.

How is MRN funded? 

Fred and Tia: We plan two major 

fundraisers (Casino Night and Super 

Bowl Bonanza) a year to support our two 

programs, The Game Plan Camp and 

our year round program the Playbook. 

We also receive fi nancial support 

from some awesome Individuals, our 

board members, local and national 

businesses, private foundations, and local 


What has been the most rewarding part 

of your time at MRN?


Fred and Tia: The most rewarding part 

is hearing from our parents and students 

that our programs and resources have 

made a difference in the way they think 

about their future and the future of their 


Is there a specifi c success story you can 


Tia: Our organization has opened 

up the doors for many students. One 

that sticks out most is Myles Meteye. 

Myles participated in our camp and 

year round program, where he learned 

about trade jobs and certifi cations. At 

our Career Development workshop he 

had the opportunity to hear from and 

network with Chris Jaubert, Partner 

at Bear Contracting.  After graduating 

high school without athletic scholarship 

offers, Myles applied and was accepted 

into the Tulsa Welding School, where 

he fi nished this year. Recently, Myles 

reached out to Mr. Jaubert with the news 

of his Professional Welder certifi cation, 

and interest in seeking opportunities. We 

are happy to say, that Myles is currently 

working on construction projects that Mr. 

Jaubert has helped him secure.

Upcoming Events:

October 6 - Super Bowl Bonanza to 

benefi t the year long program for student-

athletes, The Playbook.  It will be held at 

the Cordova Lanes Bowling Center from 

5-9 p.m. We are looking to recruit 24 

bowling teams who believe in our mission. 

Join in on the fun for a great cause, there 

will be a live DJ and awesome raffl e prizes 
Winter event - 3rd Annual Breakfast with 

Fred Claus in December, dates TBA
Spring event - 3rd Annual Casino Night 

Fundraiser in May, dates TBA

October 2018   |   47

Interview with Fred and Tia Robbins

“The overall vision of our organization is to prepare student athletes for 

future opportunities beyond sports. We are passionate about our work.”   

-- Tia Robbins

Escambia County 

Chief Deputy Chip Simmons

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