Betsy DeVos was recently named the United States Secretary of Education. Another side of her is the philanthropy and community involvement that she has been involved in throughout her life. When she attended Calvin College she was a part of the political environment on campus and has continued that activity ever since. Among the many positions she has held is Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and, additionally, she has served on a variety of boards for party organizations and political action committees.
Betsy DeVos is also heavily involved in philanthropy. She serves as the Chairman of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation which gives to many types of causes including education, the arts, and entrepreneurship. Among the many Michigan and national nonprofits she has served is the DeVos Institute for Arts Managment at the Kennedy Center, Kids Hope USA, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and Mars Hill Bible Church. Mrs. DeVos is also well-known for her work in the educational choice movement. She has served as the Chairman for both the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children, both leading voices in this movement.
Betsy DeVos recently said that the school choice movement is gaining steam across the United States. She pointed out that there are 33 publicly funded private choice schools in 17 states plus the District of Columbia that have 250,000 students who have made the choice to attend the schools. She said the movement towards school choice is due to public schools failing in their mission to educate children.
Mrs. DeVos began to be aware of the school choice movement years ago when she visited The Potter House Christian School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This school had been educating children that came from low-income families for over 30 years. Paying the tuition was a large sacrifice for the families of these children but the parents felt it was their duty to provide the best education they could for their children. Betsy, along with her husband Dick, set up a program where they began assisting parents with the financial burden of attending the school.
Betsy DeVos has also donated huge sums of money and her time to the arts. She served on the board of ArtPrize which is an international art competition that is held annually in Grand Rapids. She also served on the Board of Trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has also, along with her husband, provided funding for the DeVos Institute of Arts Management that is located at the University of Maryland.
Check her website for more info at betsydevos.com.