At the Rural Outreach Center, our participants are active partners in our program.  We assist participants in creating their personal road map for success and our program empowers participants as concrete, self-identified goals are met and they elevate themselves toward self-sufficiency.   We provide a holistic approach to the needs and challenges of the rural poor and our services focus on children, education, and job creation.  

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Dr. Frank Cerny, Executive Director, PhD, MDiv

Dr. Frank Cerny is the Executive Director of The Rural Outreach Center (ROC). Frank helped found Pathways Christian Fellowship in the summer of 2006 and The Rural Outreach Center is a ministry outgrowth of that congregation.  

Dr. Frank Cerny is professor emeritus, Departments of Pediatrics and Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo. He moved to Buffalo to help establish the Children’s Lung Center at Children’s Hospital and then moved to the University at Buffalo, where he became chair of the department of Physical Therapy, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. 

Maria Knickerbocker, Senior Social Worker

Maria is the senior social worker at The Rural Outreach Center (ROC). Maria received her Master’s of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999. She worked in a clinical setting for 13 years before serving in multiple capacities as a social worker. Maria assists participants as they make connections with in-house and community resources while they work toward self-sufficiency.   In addition to her LCSW, Maria is a trained children’s play therapist.

Camille Arth, Social Worker

Camille is very familiar with and committed to the ROC’s mission and work, as she once interned with us.  Camille has assisted in research on youth interfaced with systems relating to homelessness, education, and child welfare.  Her interest in community health public policy led her to intern at the office of a New York State assembly member. She received her MSW from the University at Buffalo and her undergraduate degree from John Carroll University.  Camille is excited to utilize her research and policy experience as valuable assets to the ROC.

Dominque Tucker, Case Manager

Dominque is the newest member of the ROC team!  Dominque graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a BA in Psychology, and received her Masters from State University of NY at Buffalo. Dominque has worked at ECMC and in several public school systems.  Her focus is helping children and families and she’s excited to bring her skills and expertise to help the ROC fulfill its mission.

Latest From ROC

Please catch up on all The Rural Outreach Center news and our blog ROC Ripples.

The Rural Outreach Center

730 Olean Road, East Aurora, NY 14052

(716) 240-2220


Monday 12-5, Tuesday-Friday 9-5

By Appointment

Monday 9-12, Wednesday and Thursday 5-7