In recent months, Betsy DeVos has become best-known as the Secretary of Education. Before that, she garnered notice as Chair of Michigan Republicans. She was a big player in her husband’s campaign for governor of their home state. She has had a long, active career in politics.
A Well-Rounded Person
But DeVos is so much more than that. She’s a mom, a businessperson and a philanthropist. A graduate of Calvin College, she sits on the Board of the Windquest Group. This group is made up of a number of companies. Windquest invests in everything from manufacturing to clean energy. DeVos has a wide-ranging knowledge of the way multiple industries operate.
But business success is not Betsy DeVos’ only focus. In fact, DeVos has given generously to causes she believes in for over 30 years. She is passionate about reform. Broken institutions like the public education system trouble her. DeVos is grateful that she could make another choice for her children, namely, a private education. But she also knows that not everyone can afford to do that.
DeVos is a Christian, which informs her philanthropic spirit. It troubles her to see people, especially children, being held back by a system that underperforms. That’s exactly what she and her husband were witness to in their home city of Grand Rapids.
Dick DeVos attended public schools in Grand Rapids as a youth. When his children were old enough, the system was underperforming and in many ways, unsafe. He and his wife were upset by the idea that their tax dollars were going to waste. They were especially distressed to see working-class parents take on two extra jobs to give their children a better future.
Betsy DeVos knows that if people can’t develop their god-given abilities, all of society suffers. She wants to give all children a chance to use the gifts they’ve been endowed with, and to develop into healthy, stable adults.
This is where DeVos’ business background informs her giving. She knows that if parents are granted the ability to choose, the public school system will have to shape up. When there’s competition in the marketplace, service providers have to maximize efficiencies and continue to improve.
She believes that school choice can revolutionize America by creating lasting change. It’s already happening in states like Florida. DeVos is well-aware that school choice systems work in countries like the Netherlands, too.
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