Betsy DeVos was raised in a philanthropic family and grew to nurture a humanitarian family of her own with the backing of her husband, Dick DeVos. She attended Calvin College and became engaged in various philanthropic acts and political campaigns. After thirty years, Betsy is still heavily involved in the same areas, with a history of leading many organizations, serving on committees, and acting as the chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party at one point. Additionally, she regularly funds promising schools by donating resources and writing their annual checks.
Among the many hats that Betsy wears are chairman of the Windquest Group, a family-owned enterprise that invests in clean energy, technology and manufacture and her administrative roles in non-profit foundations. She is the chairman of her organization, Dick, and Betsy Family Foundation, and serves on the council of members of Foundation for Excellence in Education, Kids Hope USA, Mars Hill Bible Church, and Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. Betsy leads the American Federation for Children and Alliance for School Choice as chairman. Betsy has an avid and active passion in educational reforms through charity and political movements and sat down with Philanthropy Roundtable to share her insights on the journey. Read more about their foundation at dbdvfoundation.org.
Betsy’s first interest in educationally inclined philanthropy started when her kids were students at Potter’s House Christian School. Together with her husband, they began supporting special children who had a promising future but were stifled by the lack of fees. Their efforts slowly grew into the present gigantic handouts they give to various schools, including Potter’s House. In the 90s, Betsy and her husband attempted to campaign for the passing of the first charter school bill in the state and failed miserably. The hurdle did not stop them, and Betsy set up Great Lakes Education Project to support the growth of charter schools in Michigan. After gaining increased support for her efforts through the organization, she started American Federation for Children to effect change on a national level. Currently, the foundation has made possible the adoption of new educational programs in Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, Arizona, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. By 2011, the programs were 40,000 in a count nationally.
Betsy Devos presently serves as the 11th secretary of the United States after President Donald Trump nominated her for the post. Betsy believes that all children should have access to the same quality of education despite their ZIP codes. Betsy will work in close collaboration with the current president to ascertain the advancements of these reforms in every state. By advocating for the change of the educational management system, states and counties will be in direct control of the educational settings. This change will customize the education to fit each locality and put kids on a better path to manifest their educational dreams. Read her interview with Philanthropy Table.