The Breakthrough Foundation was founded by the Werner Erhard Foundation.
"In the 1970s, Werner Erhard created a project known as Breakthrough Racing with the purpose of discovering how to develop team. To do that, he himself had to become team. Dan Miller headed the Breakthrough Racing team for Werner, and after Breakthrough Racing completed, Dan asked Werner if he could use the technology developed by Breakthrough Racing to form a non-profit organization known as The Breakthrough Foundation whose purpose would be to work abroad in villages in underdeveloped nations.
Dan had worked in India with the United States State Department where he saw that what the United States was doing was not empowering the people living there. We were giving aid but we were not giving empowerment. We knew what they needed but we were not inquiring of them what was missing for them.
"At the same time, Werner Erhard and Associates conducted a series of community meetings across the United States, the purpose of which was to discover what was missing in communities. In communities across the United States, it was determined that there was an increase in violence among and violent behavior by young people. Drop out rates were on the rise.
"The program known as (and for) Youth at Risk was developed in concert with the communities. Youth At Risk made an agreement with The Breakthrough Foundation to produce Youth At Risk courses in cities across the United States, a slam dunk given that The Breakthrough Foundation was already committed to empowering young people.
"The Breakthrough Foundation, having gotten its job done, went out of existence in 1993, and Youth At Risk continues to deliver its programs in cities across the country.
"Every year since 1991, Youth At Risk has acknowledged an individual who has made a difference to the organization, the young people, and the community. Since Werner Erhard was the source of the organization in the early 1980s, we thought it was time he be acknowledged. Claudette C'Faison proposed this to the Youth At Risk board of directors, and they determined that this year, Werner would be invited to be the recipient of The Youth At Risk Humanitarian Of The Year Award. "