An Overview of Betsy DeVos’s Personal Background and Philanthropy

Betsy DeVos is the current U.S. Education Secretary, having been appointed by President Trump. Earlier, she was well known for her advocacy work for school voucher plans and charter schools. Mrs. DeVos has been involved in politics in the past, a fact that could have made her eligible for her current position. Here is an overview of her personal life, philanthropy and involvement in politics.


Early Life and Education


Betsy DeVos is the daughter of Edgar Prince, the initiator of Prince Corporation, which is considered to be the biggest automobile parts supplier in Holland, Michigan. Betsy grew up in a home that had a deep Christian background. Her parents were very religious and enrolled her at the Holland Christian High School. After completing her studies, she passed well and secured a spot at the Grand Rapids Calvin College. She left the college a few years later having attained a Bachelor in Arts degree.


Political Involvement


Betsy DeVos had a passion for politics from her early age and got involved in college politics when still at Calvin College. She officially started her political career journey in 1982 when she became a member of the Michigan Republican Party. In 1986, she got elected as the party’s local area delegate, a position she went on to hold for a good 16 years. She managed to get re-elected a record eight times. Betsy DeVos also worked as Michigan’s committeewoman for the Republican Party for five years from 1992. She also became Michigan party’s chairperson from 1996 – 2000.


Betsy DeVos’ Philanthropy


Betsy DeVos is lucky to come from a massively wealthy family and is also married to an equally well-off man, Dick DeVos. All this wealth combined with her deep Christian values makes her derive joy and happiness in assisting the undeserved in the society. Together with her husband, they founded the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that extends donations to a number of charitable causes. Their foundation as I read from its official website focuses mainly on matters to do with leadership, education, justice, community and arts.


Betsy made up her mind to start helping out in the education sector when she and her husband noted that a majority of parents wanted the best for their children but could not easily afford the fees in private schools. This prompted the couple to give scholarships to a lot of students schooling at the Potter’s House Christian School. Betsy DeVos donated $22.5 million dollars to the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts foundation, which prompted its renaming to DeVos Institute of Arts Management. Betsy DeVos has also advocated for school choice to enable parents have an option when choosing a good school for their children. She is a staunch believer that once school choice is implemented, additional commercial charter schools will sprout thereby increasing the choices available.


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