GROW, or Global Resiliency Outreach Work, provides innovative programs
to at-risk youth that foster emotional resiliency and broaden life perspective.


GROW works in under-served communities, partnering with schools and other agencies to improve students’ overall wellbeing—socially, emotionally, cognitively, physically and academically. We want to empower at-risk youth to broaden their horizons and to help them understand that leading a productive, fulfilling life requires training, just like running a marathon. It’s about the development of healthy life habits that are the foundation of lifelong resiliency.

Studies have shown that childhood trauma causes depression and anxiety that can become central health issues and predispose children to a host of mental and physical disorders such as addiction, AD/HD, obesity, heart disease, asthma and cancer ( We provide programs to address this trauma in the form of traditional process groups, mentoring and counseling. These programs are rooted in the traditions of cognitive, supportive and milieu therapy, as well as drug and alcohol recovery, with a measure of old fashioned common sense.



“How can we support each other?”

We provide a venue of safety and trust in our process groups. Over time, kids begin to accept support from each other and us. We inspire an ethos of empathy and support that transcends the classroom and fosters gradual, but powerful, shifts towards positive behavior and thinking.

“I trust you with my life. Our group is special. We are like a family.”

7th grader


“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

We walk kids through a process to:
1. Recognize detrimental thought habits.
2. Challenge and dismantle negative patterns.
3. Substitute positive, beneficial thoughts and beliefs.
We empower them to take ownership of their actions and determine their own futures, rather than allow themselves to be defined by someone else’s script.

“You’ve helped me to open up and express my feelings. You’ve helped me understand that I can be anything I want to be.”

7th grader


“What am I feeling?”

Many of our traumatized kids are so emotionally numb, or disassociated, that they can’t identify, let alone process, their feelings. They lack self-esteem and tend to react with knee-jerk responses, panic or anxiety. These responses range from withdrawal to violent outbursts. Our groups train them to face their feelings and develop tools to handle the painful ones. This leads to a greater capability to make balanced decisions and exercise good judgment.

“I’m a much better person than I ever was. I learned to ‘Stop, Think, Act’ and don’t let people have so much power over my actions… I don’t fight like I used to.”

7th grader


The following true stories, selected from many, highlight how GROW helps kids gain an understanding of themselves. All names have been changed to protect the identities of the children.


is a shy seventh grader who, after some time, realized that her father's release from prison was causing confusion. She and her siblings were subjected to intense domestic violence, death threats, substance abuse, and abandonment. Though she carried this heavy burden, she gradually learned to open up and give and receive support.

“I realized everyone struggles in life just like me... You've helped ne overcome my fears and realize the truth about my life.”


is a solid student whose mother recently committed suicide, His ability to open up and share his pain and guilt over her mental illness helped him come to terms with her death. While nothing can erase the pain or restore his childhood, the group became an important venue to air his feelings, and a powerful source of support and love.

“I wanted to not think about it and just make believe it never happened…I’m grateful for this place to be real and talk about her”


is a vivacious, popular student whose outgoing nature belies her troubled home life. Her pain and confusion over sexual, physical, and emotional trauma manifested in repeated behavioral issues, including physical altercations and suicidal ideation. Her grades were poor and she was often on behavioral probation. With a support, understanding in group, and one-on-one counseling, she is learning to dismantle her negative thought and behavior patterns and reprogram them. Her grades are up, her behavior has improved dramatically, and she hopes to attend college.

“You made me realize that life is beautiful. I feel like life is worth living and I’m going to get out of here one day and find a peaceful place.”


    Give the gift of your time, support and guidance to a kid in need. We have programs running in the East Bay (Oakland), San Francisco and the Peninsula (Redwood City, East Palo Alto) that would benefit from folks willing to give of their time and heart.

    PHONE 1-650-218-1016



    July 24, 2012

    December 11, 2011

    Houston Speaks to Students at Frick Middle School

    Oakland Raiders DE Lamarr Houston spoke with a group of students from Frick Middle School in Oakland, Calif.

    Read entire article


    We'd love to hear from you. Contact us if you are interested in learning about ways to volunteer, donate, or more about the organization.

    PHONE 1-650-218-1016


    GROW, inc.
    1215 Tournament Drive
    Hillsborough, CA 94010