How We Do It

No young person is too tough for Roca, even if they have lost all trust and hope for the future. Roca never gives up on addressing the trauma and urban violence impacting the hardest-to-reach young adults in our communities. They can count on us to keep showing up, even during setbacks. That’s how we build trust over four years and give young people the tools and support to change the trajectory of their lives.

Our Intervention Model


Create Safety And Stability

We do relentless outreach and build transformational relationships with young people to develop the foundation for change. We meet basic needs, make meaningful connections, and provide moments feeling free from harm.


Teach Life-saving Skills

We teach a relatable and simple version of cognitive behavioral theory (CBT) in the streets, so young people can slow down, disrupt negative cycles, and take control over their lives.

They’re real consistent, and always push me down the right path. It’s nice knowing someone out there cares. A lot of us grew up in a [messed] up lifestyle and no one cared about us. Roca shows that they actually do.”

—Derrik, Roca Chelsea Participant

I use CBT every day because it helps me with self-control. I used to be the kid that would get mad about everything. But the other day, someone said something about a gang I was in, and back in the day I would have fought him. But now I know it’s not worth it.”

—Luis, Roca Springfield Participant


Practice Skills, Relapse, And Repeat

We create tailored employment, education, and life skills programs that serve as spaces for young people to change, relapse, and change further. Not when they are “ready” to participate, but while as they still struggle.


Engage Institutions And Systems

We relentlessly reach out to system partners, build relationships, and jointly practice new skills that produce better outcomes for young people and communities.

I’m working on this now. I’ve failed like 10 times, but I’m gonna get it right. Roca helps me practice, and helps me help myself.”

—Luis, Roca Springfield Participant

[Roca is] helping to change the community in Baltimore. The police officers’ interactions with young people are totally different now. And some of those young men have changed – I saw this kid laugh and I’d never seen him laugh before.”

—Major Lloyd Wells,
Baltimore Police Department

Outcome Highlights

Young Men


Central Americans


Young Mothers


Dare to hope with us

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