The mission of R.O.C.K. is to nurture the healthy development of children by listening attentively to their needs and by providing opportunities to those who might not otherwise have access.

San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley is not always an easy place to be a kid.

The area is home to many children who are faced with considerable social and economic challenges on a daily basis. These challenges are exacerbated by a lack of exposure to high caliber academic, cultural and social environments.


With your help, Real Options for City Kids (R.O.C.K.) is affording these opportunities to the community’s youth.

Our Story

R.O.C.K. is the largest provider of academic and social support for at-risk youth in Visitacion Valley.

Our programs focus on addressing the whole needs of the child through uplifting sports and fitness programs, outdoor adventures, and nurturing school-based support.


SINCE 1994, R.O.C.K. has served the needs of children in the community by providing structured programs that foster personal development within a safe, loving and supportive environment. With the help of our programs, children who might not otherwise have a reasonable chance to succeed are granted a level playing field.


R.O.C.K. has been proactive in its approach to community support since inception. Through her experiences working with homeless adults, Michelle Groe, R.O.C.K. Founder, realized the problems in their lives often began during childhood. As a result, Groe focused her efforts on providing stable, nurturing and welcoming environments for Visitacion Valley’s at-risk youth, thereby laying the foundation for R.O.C.K.


While R.O.C.K. has grown significantly since that time, Michelle’s original goal has maintained its fundamental purpose.

R.O.C.K. Purpose

R.O.C.K. addresses the needs of at-risk youth through an innovative combination of learning enrichment, sports and fitness, leadership training, and outdoor adventure programs. These yearlong school-based and out of school programs are vital, providing a way to encourage positive living and healthy emotional connections with others.

R.O.C.K.’s Programs are based on Three Following Goals:

Learning to be productive by engaging in positive experiences

Learning to connect by building positive relationships with adults and peers

Learning to navigate through life circumstances by participating in responsible, meaningful activities

R.O.C.K. fosters connection and engagement in a safe, supportive environment through a low adult-to-child ratio (1:3-5).

Throughout its twenty years, R.O.C.K. has grown to serve over 500 children aged 6-17 each year.

R.O.C.K. Need

R.O.C.K. serves a community of children who face countless social and economic hurdles. Many children from Visitacion Valley reside in single parent homes. In addition, many of R.O.C.K.’s youth members live in the community’s public housing developments, one of which is considered among San Francisco’s most violent.


The evidence of these challenges is seen in the large number of children who test well below their grade average on national standard tests, the number of children receiving free or reduced school lunches, and the number of immigrant families for whom English is a second language.


The combination of these and other factors result in a community of children where challenges are great and resources are few. Through our community and collaborative approach, R.O.C.K. provides a place for children to develop meaningful connections, build self-esteem, acquire a sense of belonging and imagine achieving wonderful possibilities.

Make a difference in the lives of at-risk San Francisco youth.