Betsy DeVos has been making headlines and been receiving a lot of light lately. The Michigan native was recently announced as the Secretary Of Education Of the United States after one of the closest and most grueling nominations ever. She won a history-making tiebreaker – one that has never been seen before at the election of a Secretary of Education.
Betsy has been an adamant advocator of various school movements, aiming to change the current education system in America. Before her election, she was at the forefront of the school charter movement. The movement was to get the government to use public and taxpayers money to fund public schools so that American children will get access to a better quality of education as compared to what they currently get in public schools.
She also was at the forefront of a movement that aimed to grade schools all over America the same way they do with children’s report cards. Betsy was of the opinion that such a grading system would give parents to be more informed about the schools they are putting their kids into and to help them make better decisions regarding quality education for their children.
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Betsy believes that proper education is one of the most important things which America should focus on. Through her position at the office, she plans to revolutionize the school system and bring about changes that will affect the younger generations to lead to a better, smarter America ultimately.
Along with her husband, Betsy and her husband formed the DeVos Family Foundation. The primary purpose of the foundation was to aid children and talented students and to provide them with the right resources to be able to develop themselves to better contribute to society. Betsy is known for regularly handing out scholarships to students who show exemplary talent in their public schools. The award is given with the aim of aiding them so that they can get a better education at private schools to develop their talents better.
The DeVos Family Foundation doesn’t just provide scholarships to school students, but to college students as well. The Foundation awards students who are passing out of their MBA programs from prominent Michigan Universities so that they can go out into society with a better grip on their lives and contribute to their communities, as compared to other students, who mostly pass out of college and have to face a significant amount of debt.
Also, the DeVos Family Foundation also helps their local communities with arts and culture programs to boost the creativity and talents of kids who are talented in those particular fields. Betsy DeVos is an avid supporter of the arts and previously served as a member of the board of directors at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts during the tenure of President Bush.
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Dick and Betsy DeVos have decided to make known something that much of the general public has wondered about for years; the amount of donations they have made in philanthropy. Dick and Betsy have run a major investment firm, The Windquest Group which has helped local businesses thrive and become a catalyst for alternative energy and technology funding. They’ve spent a lot of the money they’ve made from this business to support local schools, hospitals, museums, libraries and churches. They’ve long chosen to keep quiet on the actual amounts they have given to their community, but they recently disclosed a total amount that is near $139 million in lifetime giving. It’s been well-known that the DeVos family is generous, something that Richard DeVos Sr. Dick’s father started when he became successful in business, and Dick’s brothers Douglas and Daniel and sister Cheri have all started their own foundations.
Dick began his business career at his family’s company after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Northwood University. The company is Amway Corporation, a multilevel marketing company that has distribution centers all across the globe, and Dick helped start many of them during his time as company vice president and later CEO. He ran Amway from 1993 to 2002 before stepping down and turning his business aspirations to The Windquest Group. He also served as president and CEO of the Orlando Magic from 1991 to 1993.
Dick and Betsy’s philanthropy has been channeled through their foundation which they started in 1992. Much of it has involved political activism including targeting education reform as a top priority. Dick and Betsy sent their children to private schools, but they saw that there were many lower income families that struggled to afford those schools. So the DeVos’s started scholarship programs first, and at one time even attempted to lobby private school voucher laws into effect but to no avail. They later started several charter school expansion projects and even founded a charter school of their own, the West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Dick also has worked to make Grand Rapids an attractive place for business and entertainment venues through Grand Action, a committee of civic leaders that led a downtown renovation project throughout the 1990s. He and Betsy also were some of the largest contributors to the Kennedy Center’s Institute for Arts Management, which was subsequently renamed in the DeVos’s honor. The DeVos’s have supported conservative groups such as Action Institute, Heritage Foundation and Hudson Institute and have served in the state’s Republican party. Dick once ran for governor in 2006 but came up short on election day. He also helped a coalition of conservatives pass a right-to-work law in 2012.
Those of us who live and work in lower Michigan are well aware of the business and charitable accomplishments of the entire DeVos family. Dick DeVos, the son of Amway cofounder Richard DeVos, established the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation with his wife in 1990. In addition to serving key leadership positions at the Michigan-based international corporation, including president, and board member, Dick has been president and CEO of the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association. He’s currently president of the Windquest Group, a privately held investment management firm, and has been a board member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Thunderbird School of International Management, among many other pursuits. But it’s his civic involvement and charitable accomplishments, particularly in his home state, that really stoke his inner fire.
Dick and Betsy’s passions include education, community, the arts, justice for the oppressed and leadership development. These interests are reflected in the organizations they’re proud to financially and morally support. Dick started the Education Freedom Fund to award more than 4,000 scholarships to underprivileged Michigan students, founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy and served on the state’s Board of Education. He’s chaired or co-chaired various Grand Rapids initiatives that have led to the revitalization of the downtown, construction of a $212 million convention center and a new cardiac hospital and the creation of a downtown market. The Dick & Betsy Family Foundation donates millions of dollars annually. Recipients through the years have included the Grand Rapids Symphony, Northwood University in Midland, Potter’s House, a Christian school serving urban students, ArtPrize Grand Rapids and the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, among countless other worthwhile services and organizations. Dick DeVos ran for governor of Michigan as a Republican in 2006.
Visit the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation website for more information about the foundation, its goals and how your favorite nonprofit might become a partner organization. You can also learn more about this noted Michigan philanthropist at DickDeVos.com. Addition biographical information can be found at Wikipedia and on Dick’s LinkedIn page.
Dick DeVos, firstborn son of Richard DeVos Snr. is one of the leading entrepreneurs in Michigan. He was once listed by Forbes magazine as the 67th richest males in the United States. DeVos has worked for various companies, including Amway, co-founded by his father. He however left Amyway in the year 1989, to start a business of his own, Windquest Management. He later was reappointed to Amway Corporation and ended-up succeeding his father in various capacities in the firm. He has seen the company transition to what is now known as Alticor Corporation.
Have amassed wild success through the various company- owned business, DeVos only sees it fit to give back to the society. Dick is one of the biggest philanthropists, known in the USA. In the spirit of giving back and sharing the wealth that they have been blessed with, Dick and his wife Betsy DeVos started The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The foundation was established with an aim of transforming lives in various communities.
With The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Dick and his wife are able to contribute to the education status of the country. Together, they help increase opportunities for education to students coming from the less fortunate backgrounds. In this regard, they collaborate with Thunderbird School of Global Management to support students entering the school for a Master of Arts Degree, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration. They also award scholarships for students entering Northwood University for Business Administration Bachelor’s Degree.
The company is also community focused. They plan charities and donate to projects that have an aim of increasing the sustainability of various communities. This is by making it easy for people to access quality and affordable health services. In addition, they also provide support to increase the quality of life for different individuals.
The company is also a steward for leadership. Having tried his hand on politics, DeVos definitely knows what is required for successful leadership. With the foundation, he trains and supports potential leaders with the aim of equipping them to be great future leaders.
Dick DeVos has also a special interest in arts. His biggest and most notable donation was that of a $ 22.5 million to the DeVos Institute of Arts, which is currently known as the Kennedy Center Institute of Arts Management.