Betsy DeVos is inspiration for us all for many reasons. She is the United States Secretary of Education, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and is happily married to her husband, Dick DeVos, of over 30 years. But what makes her stand out even more is that through her personal and professional achievements, her family and her still make time to give back to others. And because of this, she has been widely honored and recognized through a recent interview with Philanthropy Roundtable about her family’s philanthropy especially in regards to the education reform movement. Read more about their foundation at dbdvfoundation.org.
First, she expressed her how pleased she was that 250,000 students were in 33 private choice programs within 17 states and in DC that were publicly funded. She has been concerned in how the public schools have been failing, and thus, she has been involved in the radical movement for children’s education reform. Even when her and her husband’s children were school-age children decades ago, she saw the struggle of many parents trying to make sure their children are safe, are loved, and are learning. It touched their hearts so much that the DeVoses started to assist financially with that one school. Afterwards, they broaden their giving a lot further: She served on the board of the American Education Reform Council and the Children First America in the 1990s, her and her husband were involved in passing the first charter school bill for Michigan in 1993, she has been serving as the Michigan Republican party’s chairperson for 1996 to 2005, she started the Great Lakes Education Project after the proposed constitutional amendment was defeated, and then she began getting involved with the American Federation for Children (AFC) in which she is now the chairman. She is also the chair for the Alliance for School Choice. Other than that, she has been doing more lobbying and other political involvement for educational reform for all children regardless of their zip codes. Betsy DeVos spoke highly of charter schools in that interview, and she said that homeschooling is another great education option. However, digital learning is still in its infancy stage, according to her. And she expressed how bipartisanship is needed in education.
Other Work History
As stated above, DeVos has been involved in political and philanthropic activities for over 35 years. Her political involvement started when she volunteered in 1976 for President Gerald R. Ford. In addition to the work experience mentioned above, she is the chairman for the Windquest Group, a privately held company that she and her husband found in 1989. This company invests in clean energy, manufacturing, and technology. She also serves as the chairman for the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation. This foundation focuses on the arts, community, education, justice, and leadership categories. In 1992 to 1998, she was on the Republican National Committee. Additionally, she is a member of numerous local and national boards, including the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Kids Hope USA, Mars Hill Bible Church, and the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center.