Long before Betsy DeVos became United States’ Secretary of Education, she had already made a mark in the country’s education sector. Together with her husband, Dick DeVos, and through their family foundation, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Betsy had been pushing for education reforms in America. Through the same family foundation where Betsy serves as chairman, the couple contributes towards empowerment of the less privileged students by funding education programs across the U.S. Betsy serves on boards of many charity organizations either as a member or as an executive. Some of these organizations include Kids Hope USA, the American Federation for Children (AFC), and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Betsy has been active in philanthropy, business, and politics for more than three decades. She was involved in Republican Party politics as early as during his campus days at Calvin College and even held leadership roles in the party’s Michigan branch. Being a staunch Christian, Betsy also supports church initiatives in her hometown of Grand Rapids and serves as a church leader as well. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.
Sometimes back, the Philanthropy Roundtable spoke to Betsy DeVos and sought to know her philanthropic story and, in particular, her role in educational reforms in America. She said that with many States now embracing private choice school programs for public schools, education reforms progress was satisfactory. She noted that more than 250,000 public schools students were enrolled in such programs in states, such as Louisiana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Florida. Betsy reemphasized that public schools in America had a tradition of poor performance due to poor education policies. She highlighted education reforms as the surest path to bringing glory in such schools. Betsy gave an example of humble parents at Potter’s House Christian School where poor parents give everything in their control to have their children access quality education, but the situation gets too tough and unmanageable for them. According to her, kids of such parents ought to be given an equal chance to education as their counterparts from the affluent folk.
How It All Started
Betsy DeVos’ passion towards education quality and reforms, in general, did not just descend from nowhere. Her mother, who was a public school teacher, instilled in Betsy the sense of helping other people and the importance of having an equal education for all American children. Her passion was watered even more by the harsh reality she found in schools when her kids attained the school-going age. Even though she had the financial muscle to secure quality education in the nation’s best schools for her kids, she found the chances left for kids from low-income families insufficient. Since then, she has been fighting to have a kid’s future not tied to the zip codes in which he/she lives in or his/her family’s financial background. Visit Betsy’s profile page on facebook.com.