FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - PATTY DOBBS GROSS
Patty Dobbs Gross created North Star Foundation as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to place high quality assistance dogs with children who face social and emotional challenges at an affordable price. Patty earned her BA from the University of Massachusetts in Psychology and her MA from the University of Connecticut in Educational Psychology; she is also the author of THE GOLDEN BRIDGE: A Guide to Assistance Dogs Placements for Children Challenged by Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities (Purdue University Press, 2006).
Patty has been married for thirty three years to a very patient man, and is the mother of four children who are all an integral part of North Star's work. Over a quarter century ago her son Danny, now 28, received an assistance dog named Madison from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) to work with his challenge of autism. Dan recently graduated from USC's prestigious School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in filmmaking and has created North Star's extensive video library. He is now working with as an editorial assistant in Connecticut and doing freelance work in LA & NYC.
What Patty has learned about raising a child with a social/emotional challenge with the help of an assistance dog forms the very heart of North Star's work.
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