Change Course Partnerships

Building Stronger Communities

We work collaboratively with government agencies, housing facilities, case managers, and organizations throughout Des Moines to walk alongside our Leaders to help them thrive.


In Des Moines, over 34,000 people are living in financial poverty. And while there are numerous organizations addressing poverty in our city, solving these major systemic issues isn’t about the number of organizations that exist. It’s about how well we can work together to provide holistic support and excellent resources for our neighbors who are looking to escape poverty and pursue lives of thriving. Let’s make that happen, together.

If you are a local organization in the Des Moines metro area that works with people who need a second chance and are ready to change, we want to meet with you to discuss how we can collaborate.

Education Partnerships

Education Partnerships

Education is the key component to new career opportunities and we believe the education that leads to good employment needs to be focused and targeted toward the career path our leaders pursue. Our education partners focus on providing short-term certifications that can prepare our leaders for specific career paths.

Employer Partnerships

Employer Partnerships

Employers are looking for motivated, loyal employees that have a desire to grow with a company and pursue a meaningful career. In the current job market atmosphere, our employer partners love to give opportunities to those who are excited about the future and ready to put the past behind them.

Employer Partnerships

Community Partnerships

We work collaboratively with government agencies, housing facilities, case managers, and organizations throughout our city to walk alongside our neighbors to help them thrive.

Vision Night 1

Education Partnerships

The cost of college continues to skyrocket at a much faster pace than inflation and it makes attending full-time college much more difficult for some people. The problem is that the public school system has failed to tell students about technical job opportunities and provide them with the skills training to perform them. Instead, schools have done away with vocational training to focus on academic learning, creating a one-size-fits-all model of college-to-workforce that doesn’t recognize the real opportunities in the workplace and the real needs of society.

At Change Course, we want to provide an option and fill the gap between graduating high school and going full-time to college at no cost to our Leaders. Our education partners focus on certifying our leaders in practical, job-related skills in a much shorter time and preparing them for the career opportunities that exist in those specific areas chosen by our leaders.

Education Partners:

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • IowaWorks
Employer Partnerships

Employer Partnerships

Companies are increasingly desperate for workers. As they continue to struggle to find people with the skills they need, their competitiveness and growth prospects are put at risk. At the same time, an enormous and growing group of people are unemployed or underemployed, eager to get a job or increase their working hours. However, they remain effectively “hidden” from most businesses that would benefit from hiring them by the very processes those companies use to find talent.

Our employer partners are excited for us to bring attention to this hidden talent that oftentimes, simply needs an opportunity. After graduation, our Leaders are ready and willing to change the course of their futures with an employment opportunity and our employer partners are thrilled to give them that opportunity.

Employer Partners:

  • Kinzler Construction
  • Executive Outdoor Solutions
  • Mid-American Energy
  • DeeZee Manufacturing
  • Seneca Tank
Man Posing with Arms Crossed

Community Partnerships

There are many outstanding non-profit organizations helping people in the Des Moines community. At Change Course we believe that we can be much more effective when we work together than if we work
separately. As we focus on our skill set and we utilize the skill set of the other community partners in Des Moines, we can do a lot more to help people get out of poverty and look forward to a purpose-filled future.

We work collaboratively with government agencies, housing facilities, case managers, and organizations throughout our city to walk alongside our neighbors to help them thrive.

Community Partners:

  • IowaWorks
  • OpportUNITY – United Way
  • Evelyn K. Davis
  • St. Vincent DePaul
  • Freedom for Youth
  • Ruth Harbor
  • Many Hands Thrift Store
  • The Well
  • Hope Ministries
Man with arms outreached beneath Change Course logo


If you’re unable to find an answer to your question, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We’ll add it to the list.


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Corporate Application Form

Corporate partnership form

Your Name(Required)

Kim SmithBoard Member

Kim L. Smith grew up in the Des Moines area and has practiced law in West Des Moines for over 30 years. He also spent over 5 years with an international CPA firm. He is President of K. L. Smith, P.C., a successful law firm that handles tax planning and compliance, estate planning and documentation, and helps small businesses in planning and organization.

He and his wife, Carol, enjoy time with their 2 children and 3 grandchildren, who all live nearby. They also assist their parents, who also live in the area.

Kim is on the Board of Hope Ministries. He volunteers on the worship team at church also sharing his love of singing with local assisted living centers. He also enjoys playing tennis.

Ally Application

Thomas BudlerBoard Member

Tom Budler retired from the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company family of businesses in February 2022 after 35 years of service. Tom worked for MidAmerican Energy Company for 25 of those years in various capacities including generation construction and operations, gas and electric operations, and wind generation development, construction, and operations. In 2012 Tom transitioned to BHE Renewables, LLC where he was responsible for growing its nationwide wind generation portfolio. In 2015 he also assumed additional responsibility to initiate, grow and manage BHE Renewables’ tax equity investment portfolio.

Tom has been married to his wife Cindy for 25 wonderful years and they reside in Norwalk, Iowa. He is a member of Valley Evangelical Free Church and volunteers regularly with the Hand-In-Hand Special Needs Ministry and the Valley Disaster Relief team.

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.

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