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Partners in Change pairs trained volunteer coaches with under-resourced adults desiring to assert greater control over circumstances and challenges holding them back.


Partners in Change chose its logo with thoughtful intention. The acorn is a symbol of strength and growth, reminding us all that the seeds we sow today have exceptional potential. Its heart "stem" represents compassion, and the many diamonds of the acorn cap represent the cherished community partners who make our work possible. Finally, we included clasped hands to emphasize our belief in the transformative value and power of a sincere relationship along life's journey. 



In 1972, Partners in Change (PIC) co-founder Neil Shorthouse co-created Communities in Schools (CIS). Today, CIS is the nation's leading dropout prevention program, operating in thousands of schools in 25 states and engaging with 1.6 million children, most of whom are living in poverty. CIS surrounds students with a community of support, leading to a substantial increase in school attendance, grade promotion, and higher graduation rates. 

Over the years, Neil came to see adults as the lynchpin for the transformation of economically-struggling communities. Having witnessed the long-lasting impact of intentional, personal support for youth, Neil shifted his focus to adults whom he saw as keys to children's success and community strength — creating Partners in Change in 2019. 

PIC takes coaching's proven track record of success for executives and college students and bringing that potential to people in low-income situations. PIC invests in the existing capacity within adults wanting to move their lives forward.

It’s never too late to become what you might have been.”

George Eliot

19th century English novelist, poet, and journalist

our Team

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Neil Shorthouse
President &

Neil is president and co-founder of Partners in Change (PIC). PIC was inspired by Communities In Schools (CIS) of which Neil is also the co-founder. As a premier organization supporting children, families, schools, and communities, CIS places caring adults into healthy relationships with children whose academic success and social well-being are threatened. Today, CIS operates in thousands of schools in 25 states, engaging with 1.6 million children.


Partners in Change shifts the focus to adults — pairing trained volunteer coaches with other adults seeking to self-empower and improve their lives and circumstances. 


For more than 50 years, Neil has worked to improve educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth and their families through his efforts at CIS and other nonprofit organizations. He serves on the boards of several organizations, including Leadership Foundations, Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Rotary Club of Atlanta West End, and Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Neil continues to work on programs focused on strengthened communities, the betterment of their residents, and improved learning experiences for their children.


Neil is married to Patty Pflum and has lived in the Grant Park section of Atlanta since 1971. They have four children, nine grandchildren, one great granddaughter, and are members of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in downtown Atlanta. 


Kathleen C. Bryant

Kathleen joined Partners in Change after ten years leading development and engagement efforts at The Lovett School and High Meadows School. Prior to that role, Kathleen was a lead consultant with Non-Profit Leadership, providing board recruitment, fundraising, and vision development and training to over 25 local, state, national, and international clients, including CHRIS 180, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, Girls Incorporated, WomenWork! Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences,  Advocates for Bartow's Children, and EARTH University in Costa Rica. 

At Partners in Change, Kathleen has led the development and implementation of PIC's innovative coaching model, messaging vehicles, external relations, and operational systems. Kathleen also oversees PIC's volunteer partner organization outreach, coaching team support, and the training and stewardship of our volunteer coaches. 


Kathleen received her BA from UCLA and a Masters in Community Development and Urban Planning from Georgia State University. Kathleen moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles with her husband David in 1992. They love our city, live in Decatur, and enjoy good food, time with friends, hiking, travel, and treasured time with their two young adult daughters. 


Victoria Bambo
Director of Community Partnerships

Victoria is a Nigerian native who believes everyone needs a village! She holds a BA in Sociology and is well experienced in social work, case management and youth development. Victoria joined Partners in Change after almost ten years of working in the Atlanta Public School System. After years of teaching, community relations, and helping to lead high schools, she decided to continue her career providing wrap-around support for families by serving as the Director of Community Partnerships with Partners in Change.


Victoria is also an Image Consultant and Personal Shopper. Through this line of work she is able to help individuals unlock a higher level of confidence and self-esteem by helping them look their best. She believes when a person looks good, they feel good, and perform even better.


Victoria lives in the Peachtree City area with her partner and three bonus children. She enjoys spending all of her free time creating lifelong memories and instilling morals and principles in the girls by exposing them to different aspects and perspectives of life. She hopes that the girls one day follow in her humanitarian footsteps.

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Joey joined Partners in Change (PIC) after a career in media.  He is from the Atlanta area and spent a decade in Los Angeles before returning to Atlanta in 2019.  He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Georgia.  


Joey volunteered at Reading to Kids while in Los Angeles, which inspired him to take an interest in his local community. That inspiration and a desire for social change motivated him to switch career paths.  Once he learned about Partners in Change’s mission and work in the community, he wanted to join the team.  His work as our Lead Team Coordinator is spent supporting coaching teams and helping maintain PIC’s mission.


Joey lives in Decatur with his wife Carrie and children, Isaiah and Elsie. They love exploring all the fun areas of Atlanta and have yet to say no to a delicious meal.

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As Founder and CEO of Phoenix Rising, Dr. LaTarsha Holden has 16 written books, created workshops, and changed the trajectory of countless men’s and women’s lives through her inspirational speaking and empowerment coaching. Dr. Holden continues her journey by providing a practical blueprint for success drawn directly from her personal life experiences.

Dr. Holden’s extraordinary story of transforming her own life from being homeless with six children, uneducated, and underemployed to a sought-after speaker is her inspiration for reaching back to teach others that they have the Power to Rewrite their Story! Her story is one of persistence and success. She ran for City Council in 2017, and went from a GED to receiving her Doctorate in Leadership Studies.

Dr. Holden has received many accolades and was featured on Major News network when she was named GA/National Mother of the Year for 2020 by American Mother’s Inc. Dr. Holden was featured in the Heart of a Champion docuseries by the Women’s Professional Basketball Association. She received a City of Atlanta Proclamation as an Emerging Leader and has received the distinct honor of Ambassador for her humanitarian work. Dr. Holden has been featured in several magazines, interviewed on countless radio broadcasts, and been nominated as a National Top Influencer for 2020.

At Partners in Change (PIC), Dr. Holden applies her life experience and leadership knowledge to actively support and encourage our PIC coaching teams, and she is a valued partner in our PIC Coach trainings. Dr. Holden has six grown children, all of whom are accomplished in their lives, and grandmother of four.

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Joanne Louis
Community Partner Specialist VISTA

Joanne joins Partner In Change hoping to help adults in community live their best life by fulfilling their goals.  Joanne is a double owls graduate of Kennesaw State University earning a BBA in Management and a MBA, and currently pursuing a MEd in Educational Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia and is a Certified Professional Coach


Joanne is dedicated to serving the community as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. where she earned the Volunteer of the Year award, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc., EBC Toastmasters, Top Ladies of Distinction, and National Association of Parliamentarians


An active nonprofit board member and community leader she serves in a variety of nonprofit boards including Out of Hand Theatre, The United Way Women United, State Charter School Foundation, Kennesaw State University Alumni Association, National Black MBA Association, Association of Coach Training Organizations, Atlanta Realtors Association.


Joanne is a graduate of the Georgia Women’s Policy institute class of 2021, and a graduate of The Atlanta Women’s Foundation Inspire Atlanta Program


A native of Haiti, Joanne currently lives in Georgia and enjoys Atlanta’s arts scene, reading and traveling


Larry mason
volunteer recruitment specialist vista

Larry is a first-generation college graduate from New Orleans, Louisiana. He joined Partners in Change through Americorps Vista following his gap-year in New York City. Larry holds his BS in Public Health Sciences from Xavier University of Louisiana where he was able to learn, grow, and thrive as an agent for change in today’s society. His passions include exploring various elements which disproportionately affect Black and brown populations and giving back the knowledge he has gained to other first-generation college students/graduates. Larry strongly relates to the principle of Sankofa which focuses on the importance of utilizing previous knowledge to make positive strides towards success. 

Larry is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated where he is able to positively benefit the community. He has also worked with Harlem Children's Zone and several nonprofit organizations in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Larry is passionate about business marketing, management, and development as he has his own business creating marketing strategies and materials for startup companies. He is a firm believer in pursuing multiple passions and sharing personal gifts with the world. 

Larry is currently pursuing his Master’s of Public Health at Georgia State University and hopes to continue advocating for the communities around him. His favorite quote is by Jackie Robinson and states that, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Our Partners

The mission and vision of Partners in Change (PIC) rely on all-important partnerships between our Coaches and community members, and between PIC and our valued partners in the community.

PIC greatly appreciates our Volunteer Partner Organizations — such as corporations, colleges, non-for-profits, and faith groups — who connect us to volunteers interested in becoming Partners in Change Coaches. 

We are grateful to our Community Partner Organizations — community-based groups — who recommend to PIC their clients who are interested in working with a PIC Coach and becoming a PIC Member. 

We recognize and thank all of our treasured partners for their support and their commitment to our mission.

Partners in Change Training Partners

Thank you for sharing your expertise and guidance in the development and execution of our PIC Volunteer Coach Training.


Partners in Change Collaborative Partners

Thank you for your engagement and commitment as we pursue our shared vision for supporting those living in poverty. 

Official Partner

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Partners in Change Funding Partners

We are grateful for our individual and organizational funding partners who

share and empower our vision to enable social, personal, and

economic upward mobility for all individuals.


PARTNERS IN CHANGE Individual Donors

Reggie Beaty, Kathleen Bryant, Julius Coles, Victoria Crawford, Cynthia Culbreath, Laura Deisley, Keith Eigel, The Glustrom Family Foundation, Kathy King,

Joseph Kellogg, John Lanigan, Calandria Lee, Rita Lee, Ellen Marshall, Barbara Martin, David Peterson, Alexandra Roddy, Butch Rodriquez, Richard Rowe,

Patty Pflum and Neil Shorthouse, Dan and Margy Smith, Michael Wakefield,

Denise Walker, John and Sue Wieland

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