Betsy DeVos and Her Philanthropic Role in Education

Elisabeth Prince better known as Betsy DeVos was born in 1958. Besides being a politician and businessperson, she is also an American philanthropist. She received her BA at Calvin College in Michigan. While at Calvin College, the young Elisabeth became involved with campus politics and had remained politically active ever since. She is currently a member of the Republican party known for her support for school voucher programs as well as charter schools.

Betsy is married to Dick DeVos, the former CEO of Amway. Dick is the son of billionaire Richard DeVos, Amway co-founder. Mrs. DeVos is very committed to education. As the Republican National Committeewoman, she championed the Detroit charter school system from 1996-2003. She also served on the board of Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE). Her expertise was much sought after as she was called upon to serve on the boards of PAC, All Children Matter, Acton Institute and Alliance for School Choice. Currently, however, she serves as the United States Secretary of Education. Visit Betsy’s profile page on facebook.com.

Mrs. DeVos describes herself as a reformer. She has a firm belief in philanthropy and its potential to help people. The couple founded the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The foundation started by giving scholarships to low-income families helping the parents decide where their kids should go to school. As the chairman of the foundation, Betsy realized that while it was easy to help some kids through the scholarship fund, it was never going to be enough unless they address the actual problem. She, therefore, became an outspoken advocate for the school voucher system and tax credit scholarship programs.

She has always pursued reform through a plethora of nonprofit roles with her charitable interests ranging far and wide. Mrs. DeVos insists on giving to institutions and programs focused on community, education and cultivating leadership thus accelerating transformation. Dick and Betsy’s efforts are a part of their holistic effort to improve education in America. The DeVos Foundation has donated significant amounts of money to schools, hospitals, and health research organizations. They also support conservative, free-market think tanks and evangelical missions.

Forbes magazine listed the DeVos family among the top 100 richest families in America. Of their estimated net worth of over 5 billion dollars, Dick and Betsy Devos have given over $11.6 million dollars in charitable contributions through their foundation and over $139 million as a couple over their lifetime. The motivation behind their efforts is to help parents to get the opportunity to educate their children while helping the kids realize their God-given potential. For this family, their giving reflects how much of a priority education is to them. Mrs. DeVos always stays active working with many education reform nonprofits while helping to establish political action committees. As the new Secretary of Education, the sky is the limit for the ambitious and driven Betsy DeVos. Read more articles at MLive about Betsy.