Gift of Generational Change

Careers are just the beginning. Your gift supports motivated individuals on the path toward a new future. Giving supports the Change Course career and community development program to help our Des Moines neighbors escape poverty, enter meaningful careers, and create lasting change in their lives.

Impact on the Metro

The United Way of Central Iowa stated, “The U.S. Census focuses on federal poverty at 100% — a point where 13% of central Iowans cannot afford food, housing, and other basic needs. Above that level, however, 22.9% of individuals in Warren, Dallas, and Polk Counties cannot afford everything they need to survive without assistance. Many families above the 100% federal poverty line are working, yet, they are one flat tire or one emergency room visit away from crisis.”

What is the federal poverty line we should focus on?

The mission of Change Course focuses on increasing the percentage of central Iowans who are financially self-sufficient or above the 250% federal poverty line. This is the point where Des Moines area families can afford basic household needs including child care, rent, and health care, according to The Iowa Policy Project’s “The Cost of Living in Iowa” study. Above that line, individuals can begin to save, pay loans, or cover education.


Temporary assistance for needy families, food stamps, unemployment, health care, substance abuse treatment, housing, recidivism and rearrest for prison and jail, and Medicaid.


Income taxes paid, social security, and sales tax dollars spent.



United States Census – 2021



Iowa Department of Corrections – 2021



ASPE – 2021

Des Moines, Iowa skyline at night

Lead The Change

We believe people have the desire to exit poverty but often lack the tools and the resources to do so. We believe that by creating outcome-based solutions, we empower individuals to lead their change in growth, to take a step towards economic independence, and a step away from vulnerability and economic dependence. We believe that effective solutions are holistic. These inspire individuals to make authentic and sustainable changes in their lives. We believe that development is an ongoing process in which communities and people work together to improve their own lives and their own communities. Real solutions create independence and dignity.



  Secure donors and business partnerships


  Full version of website goes live to future Leaders


Leadership course enrollment opens up (August 2022)


Leadership courses start (November 2022)


Graduation ceremony for first group of Leaders (March 2023)


$500,000 Goal


(% to goal as of 8/24/22)


$3,000,000 Goal


(% to goal as of 8/24/22)

Creating Continual Change 

Change Course has established relationships to facilitate career-focused training with Iowa Works, the Evelyn K. Davis Center, Des Moines Area Community College, as well as other like-minded non-profit organizations.

Your monthly gifts help! These donations (typically between $10-$300 monthly) give equipment needed for new careers, such as work boots or scrubs, provide transportation to and from Training Camp, help pay for Leader tuition, give access to computers, and much more.

Gifts by cash or check can be delivered via mail to:
2500 University Ave, Suite 311
Des Moines, IA 50311

Change Course is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.

$15 A

Provides equipment needed for new careers such as work boots or scrubs.

$25 A

Provides books or sofware needed for classes.

$50 A

Provides tuition for some of the specialty classes such as Microsoft Office Specialist.

$100 A Month

Provides tuition for thmore costly classes such as Certified Nursing Assistant.

$200 A Month

Provides a monthly stipend to meet transportation needs—ensuring Leaders never miss a class.

$300 A Month

Provides career coaching to ensure in-the-classroom and on-the-job success.

Vision Night Logo

Change Course staff and supporters gathered as a group of people who care deeply about others in our community and share a vision for lifting people out of poverty in Des Moines by creating second chance opportunities.

At our first annual Vision Night event, we introduced the CEO of CrossPurpose Denver, Jason Janz, and three recent CrossPurpose graduates. Each graduate touched on the amazing work that is being done in Denver and shared their personal stories of redemption from homelessness to meaningful careers. Truly inspirational and emotional for all in attendance.  (June 2022)

Success in Tennessee

A similar program, UpRise Nashville, saw an average increase of $19,600 additional earnings for its graduate’s salaries in just its first year of operation. Those additional earnings was a 120% income increase year-over-year and a 55% decrease in government benefits. (UpRise – 2020)

Hope+Elim Church

Change Course Office

Our office is located on the third floor of Hope-Elim Church in room #311. Enter via the south door (right off the parking lot) and contact us at (515) 779-6108. We will let you in upon arrival.


Hope-Elim Church
2500 University Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50311


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Ally Application

Thomas BudlerBoard Member

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Jerry & Nancy FosterBoard Members

Jerry and Nancy Foster have been married for 44 years and reside in Des Moines, Iowa. They have four children and numerous grandchildren.

Jerry is the founder of Foster Group, which is a wealth management firm, serving over 1,500 families and organizations. He is also the author of LifeFocus; Achieving a Life of Purpose and Influence. Nancy has dedicated her life to pouring into her family and mentoring women all over the world.

Together, Jerry and Nancy spoke with FamilyLife marriage conferences for over 22 years. They’ve also been involved in the development of a sustainable economic and personal development model in El Rosario, Guatemala with several other couples. They are passionate about helping change the paradigm for others and creating sustainable life change.

Karin JohnsonChange Course Director of Programs & Board Member

Karin and Joseph have been married for 42 years with four kids and six grandchildren. Karin was a gymnastics coach for 25 years with a passion to help young people achieve their goals through structure and hard work. Her love for the kids made her very successful in developing very competitive teams.

Responding to a conviction that the next generation of leaders needs to understand how to use the bible as their guide, Karin began teaching a weekly millennial generation bible study over 15 years ago which still continues today.

Using her gifts of teaching and mercy, Karin has counseled women and struggling marriages for many years after experiencing many challenges in her own family from marriage struggles to family member addiction, recovery, and incarceration.

Yes I'm Interested!

"*" indicates required fields

Welcome to Change Course! If you’re interested in finding out if you’re eligible for our program, please complete the form below. We will review your submission and get back to you with your eligibility and options right away!
Note: we will not sell, retain or distribute any personal information. This form is simply used to determine eligibility.

Information Sessions
The next information session will be later this summer.

Background Questions

Will you be between the ages of 18 and 55 years old before the next class starts?*
Are you a U.S. Citizen or have a current work/school permit, visa, green card, asylum, or DACA status?*
Do you currently receive OR are you currently applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits?*
Do you have a GED or High School Diploma?*
Are you the primary caregiver of a child 0-13 years old?*
Do you have stable housing?*
Stable housing simply means that you must have enough housing stability to know that you’ll have a roof over your head each night. The following housing situations would be considered stable: Owning your living space, renting a living space, living with friends, living with family, couch surfing, living in a hotel/AirBnB, and similar. The following housing situations would NOT be considered stable: Homeless, living in a shelter, living in your car.
Are you within 1 hour of our facility (2500 University Avenue, Des Moines)?*
Are you required to register as a Sex Offender?*
Do you have an open legal case?*
We define an open legal case as an open criminal case that could result in potential jail time or ongoing court hearings that would conflict with program participation.
Are you applying for the same class/start date as a spouse or immediate family member?*
Are you able and willing to work full-time (40 hrs/week)?*
Have you been sober from hard drugs/illegal substances for at least 6 months?*
If you are accepted to Change Course you acknowledge that this acceptance is conditional on you having a clean drug test when tested and being drug-free (including THC) for the entire length of the program. Are you willing and able to commit to this?*

Donate to Change Course

Change Course is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.
Your donation is deductible to the full extent of the law.

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