Betsy Devos – a Philanthropist
Former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was born into a conservative Michigan family in 1958. She was raised in the largely Dutch community of the Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan and she is a graduate of Calvin College Christian school in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Betsy has led a number of political campaigns, action committees and party organizations that includes a six-year stint as chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party. She is married to Dick DeVos who ran unsuccessfully as the republican nominee for Michigan governor in 2006. Her husband is also the former president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic NBA and the former president of Amway Corporation, which his family founded.
In business and politics, Mrs. Deveos has sought innovative solutions to various social problems and has served on the boards of private and public sector companies. These include the Windquest Group that invests in technology, clean energy and manufacturing, the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Kids Hope USA, the Mars Hill Bible Church, the American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice.
For over 30 years Devos has been on the front line in the fight for school choice, working to be sure the family can decide where their children will attend school. She has seen the state of Florida become one of the biggest successes in the fight with tens of thousands of students attending the school of their family’s choice.
She and her husband run the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and have donated tens of millions of dollars to charitable causes that was raised through their philanthropic organization. In 2019 the foundation assisted over 150 nonprofit organizations that ranged from local hometown efforts in Grand Rapids to international organizations that work to improve community services. That year alone the foundation issued well over $13 million in grant funding.
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