City Rocks uses the sport of rock climbing to build mentoring relationships that empower students from under-resourced communities to develop self-confidence, resiliency, and the ability to succeed.


Research* shows that mentoring helps kids who are academically and socially at risk…

  • Stay in school and go on to graduate
  • Enroll in College
  • Develop more positive attitudes and behaviors
  • Stay out of trouble

* accessed 12/16

Mentoring Teens Through Sport
Giveback blog 2018


Rock climbing:

  • Facilitates trusting, supportive mentoring relationships
  • Engages kids in healthy physical activity
  • Promotes teamwork, problem-solving, mastery, and affiliation
  • Provides an outlet for thrill-seeking in a safe environment
  • Offers kids constructive use of time after school and on weekends

Elements of Positive Youth Development, Eccles, Gootman, 2002,

Climbing and Mentorship Come Together
Rock and Ice Magazine 2016


Mentors work with their mentees to help them set and achieve personal goals around climbing, academics, college, and career.

Students and their mentors meet 4+ hours each month to climb at Brooklyn Boulders and participate in other educational, recreational, and cultural activities.

Every spring mentoring pairs go on an outdoor rock climbing trip in the Shawangunk mountains (Gunks) in upstate New York.

City Rocks partners with three Title I NYC public High Schools.

The program currently serves 65 pairs with plans to grow to 75 for the next school year.

City Rocks is designed and implemented in accordance with evidence-based, Elements of Effective Mentoring Practices established by the National Mentoring Partnership.

The Best Part?


97% of senior mentees graduated & went on to college compared with ~75% school averages.

100% of mentees surveyed feel that their mentor…

  • Helps challenge them to succeed
  • Helps them put more effort into their learning
  • Is someone they are able to look to for guidance
  • Helps them see different ways they can deal with their problems
  • Helps them feel good about themselves



Helps fund 1 mentoring pair (mentee & mentor) to go to the Gunks


Cost of hiring 1 Gunks rock climbing guide to lead City Rocks group


Cost of training 15 mentors


Supports 1 mentoring pair for a full year of City Rocks


Supports 5 mentoring pairs for a full year of City Rocks


Supports 1 school partnership for a full year

To learn more about City Rocks, please email the Program Director at

Support The City Rocks Mentoring Program