Breakthrough Founder Christopher Patterson is a veteran of the foster care system. Like so many children, Chris bounced from home to home until he was adopted by a foster family at age 4. He was placed back into foster care with his younger brother at age 12. Later, after being placed with a fantastic foster family, Chris graduated from Riverside High School in Chattaroy, Washington. From there he entered the Job Corps in Wauconda, Washington, graduating in the forestry program.
Chris was always interested in social services. This led him to work in private group homes for children and special programs for developmentally disabled adults. Chris moved back to Spokane, Washington, and began attending Spokane Community College. He received multiple associate’s degrees in administration of justice, fire science, and liberal arts. Chris attended Eastern Washington University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in childhood educational psychology. During this time he also became a graduate of Leadership Spokane and the Jennifer Dunn Leadership Institute.
Chris founded Breakthrough in 2006. He found that developing programs and homes for both boys and girls (separately) with a structured home environment was important to the long-term success of each young adult.
Chris has surrounded himself with driven, honest people who help him lead. Having grown up in the foster care system, Chris has a special passion for working with children, regardless of their needs. “You are obligated to provide a safe, consistent environment,” he frequently says. His credo has become Breakthrough's cornerstone value.