Betty Devos: A Background to Her Giving

Betsy DeVos, graduating from Holland Christian High School, went on to get her Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She “married entrepreneur, philanthropist, and community activist Dick DeVos, and together, they have four children and five grandchildren. She was elected four times as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, served as Chairman of American Federation for Children, and a board member of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. This organization pairs at-risk elementary students with Christian adults to mentor these children at least one hour a week. Her conviction, “Reform America’s broken education system by giving parents more options for their children’s education.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/us/politics/devos-sessions-transgender-students-rights.html?_r=0

Along with her husband Dick, Betsy DeVos founded in 1989 the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. Their primary focus is on education and Arts & Culture. In 2015, they spent $10 million on organizations like The Potter’s House, Partnership for Educational Justice, Success Academy Charter Schools, and many more. They also donated $22 million “to launch the DeVos Institute of Arts Managements at the University of Maryland.” This Organization was to strengthen the business side of art organizations. Donations also go to civic, community, leadership, Public Policy, Health & Human Services, and churches. What is remarkable about their donations is that they put no restrictions on how the organizations use the received donations. What they want to see is that the donations are used to make a difference. The DeVos donated $200,000 to the Potter’s House. When looking into the Potter’s House their own children were of school age. It was hard for them to see the struggles parents, many low-income families, of the Potter’s House Christian School to keep their children in a save, loving environment where learning is exciting! Tuition was a real sacrifice for them. The DeVos were constantly drawn back to that school and finally they decided to support individuals there. That commitment continues to grow today. The Partnership for Educational Justice received $400,000 from the DeVos family Their projects challenge unfair educational policies and propose common sense solutions. Policies in education should be based on evidence and common sense. Sometimes things that seen obvious are the things we overlook. Their commitment is to strengthen their schools by pursing these means. Another DeVos commitment was $150,000 to the Success Academy Charter Schools. The original school founded in 2006 was offered in Harlem for Kindergarten and 1st grade scholars. In 2008, because of their success and high parent demands to send their children there, three new elementary schools opened. In 2015 they opened two new middle schools. Today there are 41 free public schools, including high schools all founded on the principle that every child can succeed.

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