An innovative entrepreneur, philanthropist, and community activist are some of the ways in which one could describe 11th United States Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Her education philanthropy contributed significantly to her appointment as Secretary of Education in the Trump Administration.
Betsy was born on January 8, 1958, to Edgar Prince and Elsa Broekhhuizen. Betsy started her education at the Holland Christian High School and proceeded to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and political science. A devout Christian, Betsy grew up as a member of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is married to businessman Dick Devos, and they have four children namely; Andrea DeVos, Elizabeth DeVos, Richard DeVos III and Ryan Devos. They have five grandchildren.
Betsy DeVos has been actively involved in her community. Some of her leadership roles include being the chairperson to various organizations. She is associated with the Windquest Group, American Federation for Children and Alliance for School Choice. Also, she has served as a board member for ArtPrize, Philanthropy Roundtable, and Foundation for Excellence in Education as well as The Potter’s House School.
Together with her husband Dick DeVos, they have been involved in numerous charitable organizations. The billionaire couple has been steered by both their Republican political views and strong Christian beliefs to give relentlessly to charity. They have given millions of dollars through Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization established in 1989.
Based on the most recent tax forms obtained by POLITICO upon request, Dick and Betsy Family Foundation donated approximately $10 million to various organizations and pledged a further $3.2 million in grants in the year 2015. This can be broken down as follows:
The foundation approved $ 400,000 in funding for Loudspeaker Media Inc. thus enabling Campbell Brown, a former CNN anchor, to launch an educational site called The 74. Also, it gave $400,000 in support of The Partnership for Educational Justice, and a nonprofit ran by Campbell.
Success Academy Charter Schools received $150,000 while GREAAT Schools, Inc. received $ 5000. Others include Potter’s House which got $200,000 and $100,000 to the nonprofit Alliance for School Choice.
Conservative organizations have also been recipients of Betsy’s philanthropic ventures. These include the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy ($750,000), Institute for Justice ($10,000) and Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc. ($6,500).
Betsy DeVos is evidently a pacesetter when it comes to charity and particularly education philanthropy. As a parent and the Secretary of Education, she understands all too well the importance of having an efficient and competent school system. She continues to commit her precious time, expertise and financial resources for the betterment of the United States education system.