Betsy DeVos is a pioneer who has dedicated a good portion of her life to improving the quality of education in the United States. She started out by supporting Potter’s House Christian School and the families who sent their children there. She had paid a visit to the school many years ago and had been disappointed that there were so many families struggling to make ends meet just to send their kids there. DeVos began to pay the tuition of some of these children but soon realized she could make a deeper impact by working to pass legislation that would do more than she could by herself.
After this, Betsy DeVos first supported her husband, Dick DeVos, when he ran to serve on the State Board of Education in Michigan. She also started up a foundation that offered scholarships to economically challenged families who wanted to send their kids to a charter school or private school. She soon realized she wanted to do even more and did so by serving the American Education Reform Council and Children First America as a member of their boards. In the early 1990s, she joined efforts to pass a charter-school in Michigan, which was the first of its kind.
Betsy DeVos later created the Great Lakes Education Project, which focused on expanding charter schools in Michigan. She also became the chairman of the American Federation for Children, which has been very effective. This organization has been able to better focus the energy of the school choice movement and has made huge strides towards offering families more schooling options for their children. DeVos has, often, pointed to Florida as an example of how school choice legislation can really improve the lives of students. The state now has more than 50,000 students who are attending a school that their family chose.
While Betsy DeVos has donated a lot of her time to the school choice movement, she has also donated large sums of money. Before she became the secretary of education for the United States in 2017, she opened up the books of her charitable organization. This revealed that the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation has donated millions of dollars to charitable causes in the educational sector. In 2015, alone, the foundation donated over $3 million to these kinds of causes. This went a long way towards demonstrating that DeVos doesn’t just talk the talk because she definitely walks the walk.
Betsy DeVos was born in Holland, Michigan, and she studied at a private high school when she was younger. She continued her education as an adult at Calvin College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics. Today, she calls Grand Rapids, Michigan her home and has done quite a bit to make life better for the residents of the city. Many of the most important buildings in Grand Rapids have been built thanks to Betsy and Dick DeVos. It is her hope that more people will begin to see the benefits of giving young students in the U.S. more educational opportunities.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.