Betsy DeVos, a Pioneer for Equality in Education

Betsy DeVos is a name that’s become rather popular in modern times. She’s the 11th Secretary of Education for the US government. Her work history and philanthropic efforts are a topic that many might not know about. This article will address a recent interview with Philantropy Roundtable, and also her work history. As many are unaware, she’s rather experienced in dealing with policy reform in education and has been a long time advocate for children. She also supports the arts, as they are a passion of hers.

Betsy DeVos has been a long time advocate for education reform. Her philanthropic efforts reach far and wide with educational charities. Although she works with a myriad of charitable organizations, the two most notable positions she holds are as Chairman for the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children. Other organizations include Kids Hope USA and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Betsy and her husband Dick DeVos also run their own charities. Visit the website U.S. Department of Education to know more.

Feeling the need to give back, the DeVos family has started their own foundation known as the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, which dates back to 1989. This foundation has helped many other foundations over the years. Aviation, cancer, and the arts are just a few of the organizations that have been assisted by the DeVos family.

Betsy DeVos began her political involvement with the Republican party as early as 1976. She worked for Gerald Ford as a volunteer and has expanded her resume in politics significantly over the years. She’s also worked in roles for the Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee. DeVos has served as an advocate throughout the years for both education while also supporting her political party.

DeVos states her decision to become an advocate for school choice and reform is due to witnessing her own children’s education. She believes that all children should have access to equal educational opportunities and that school choice and voucher programs are the way to accomplish this objective. She’s also a strong supporter of charter schools, and believes that they provide a better education, as the public schools are underperforming and “failing.”

Betsy DeVos is also considered to be an entrepreneur. She and her husband Dick DeVos are the founders of The Winquest Group. This company serves as a venture capital company investing in products they believe are good for others. While this is only a small sampling of the work DeVos has done, it’s clear that her passion for helping children of all ages, races and socioeconomic statuses are able to access education and opportunity should they choose.

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Hard Work Impacts Lives

Growing up in West Michigan, Dick DeVos has been a big role model for me. He created the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, an organization in the Grand Rapids area that has donated millions of dollars to many educational, artisitc, and religious organizations around West Michigan. Some of the foundation’s grantees include Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, ArtPrize Grand Rapids, and the West Michigan Aviation Academy to name a few. Dick has had a passion for aviation and education for many years. This lead him to create the West Michigan Aviation Academy, the nation’s first aviation school serving as a public charter school. By making it a charter school, he made it available to every kid in West Michigan with a passion for aviation. Over the years, he has funded the arts as well. The foundation gave $22.5 million to the Kennedy Center Institute of Arts Management. This really helped out the center as it was hit hard during the 2008 economic recession. I am also a big believer in free market economics which Dick DeVos supports. He has given money to organizations that support free market economics like the Heritage Foundation, the Acton Institute, and the Hudson Institute. He along with his wife, Betsy, have created their own scholarship which supports students getting their MA, BS, or MBA at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has also created the Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholars for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a students earning either a BBA or MBA at Northwood University. Dick DeVos has also worked to improved environmental conditions in the West Michigan area. He helped fund a private study of $500,000 for 18 months that focused on the pollution sources of Lake Macatawa.


As for work, he served as the CEO of Amway Corporation from 1993 to 2002. During his tenure, the company was able to triple foreign sales to exceed domestic sales. This was the first time this had happened in company history. He also opened many new markets due to the company’s massive growth.


Overall, Dick DeVos has done many great things throughout West Michigan. Through his foundation and volunteer efforts, he has impacted the lives of millions in a positive way.