Ever since her younger days, Betsy DeVos has always pursued reform. As a young Calvin College student, Elisabeth Prince actively involved herself in campus politics. She remained active in politics since then. Her political activities for the past 30 years included her being Michigan Republican Party Chairman for six years, joining party organizations and leading various political and social campaigns. Being a reformer is part and parcel of being a member of the Prince family. Her reformist ways didn’t change, it even got stronger when she married businessman and another political activist, Dick DeVos, the former Amway CEO and the nominee for Michigan Governor of the Republican Party.
Together with her husband Dick, Betsy is very active in various philanthropy works that are designed to benefit students in private schools. When asked about the progress of talks for the voucher program for private schools, the first in the United States, Betsy replied in an interview with Philanthropy magazine, that she’s very optimistic. She revealed that there are 33 private-choice programs that are publicly funded, involving around 250,000 in 17 states. The growth of the movement is going faster, she added. She also stated that the program added 40,000 more students in 2013. New programs were added in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, and Arizona in 2012. She also revealed that they conducted surveys in five states. They discovered that educational choice is growing in popularity, particularly among Latinos.
Dick and Betsy DeVos have always been opting for change in politics as well as in business. They are always in the lookout for fresh and unique answers to social problems. As Windquest Group chairman, Betsy is investing in clean energy, manufacturing and technology. Windquest is a multi-company business that is privately held. She and her husband Dick established this business in 1989. Aside from being the former Amway CEO, Dick is also the Orlando Magic’s former president.
Betsy was also asked by the Philanthropy magazine what got her interested in reform. She replied that it was not really just a single event that led her to being a reformist. It was really gradual, she added. Betsy said that when she and Dick were still kids, they went to Potter’s House Christian School. It seems that a majority of students in this school belongs to low-income families. The school is serving the locals in Grand Rapids. In their school visit, they met the parents of the students and discovered that they were doing all they can to have their children be in a safe school environment where love is present and where the atmosphere for learning is thriving with curiosity.
Betsy is also pursuing reform by involving herself in philanthropic works. Her interest in charity work is very diverse being a member of a number of local and national boards. Betsy’s charitable works are coursed through Mars Hill Bible Church, Kids Hope USA, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. She is also the Chairman of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.
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