Billionaire couple Betsy and Dick Devos are known for their philanthropic activities. The Devos family has spent hundreds of millions of dollars funding the campaigns of Republican presidents over the years. Apart from that, the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation, founded in 1989, has contributed millions of dollars to various charitable activities. Looking at the choices the family makes regarding the institutions they choose to offer financial support, it is easy to note that they are conservatives (politically). One of the things they have supported for many years is education. One of the recent activities was the $400,000 donated to Loudspeaker Media Inc., with the intention of helping former CNN journalist Campbell Brown launch the 74, her education website. The foundation also added $400,000 in support of Brown’s The Partnership for Educational Justice, a non-profit organization.
A Christian school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, received $200,000 from the Devos family foundation in 2015. In an interview with philanthropy roundtable, Betsy Devos said that a visit to the school decades ago encouraged her to continue advocating for school choice. The foundation gave $100,000 to Alliance for school choice, a non-profit organization which works with the American Federation for Children. Betsy recently stepped down as the chairperson of the group. The University of Maryland College Park Foundation is also a beneficiary of the Devos family foundation. The College has an arts management institute named after the Devos family and received $500,000. An institution which offers undergraduate certificates in aircraft maintenance, the School of Missionary Aviation Technology also received $150,000 with another $100,000 already approved. The institution is a religious one, its purpose being: ‘to equip men and women to serve God in mission Aviation.’ The foundation also gave $250,000 to the John. F Kennedy Center for performing arts, a group in which Betsy Devos once served on the board.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, chose Betsy Devos as his education secretary. Better known as a philanthropist and a Republican activist, she is a strong advocate of school choice. 58-year-old Betsy Devos served as the Chairwoman of the Republican Party (1996-2000) in her native Michigan. She is the head of Windquest group, an investment management company which has its headquarters in Michigan. Trump praised her activities saying that Betsy was a brilliant education advocate and her appointment would mean a bright future for America’s children. Devos is currently the chair of Great Lakes Education Project. She is also the head of the American Federation for Children which provides families with access to good schools via private school choice. Devos had a religious upbringing, being born to parents who were members of the Christian Reformed Church. She is married to Dick Devos, who was the former chief executive officer of Amway. Visit her website: www.betsydevos.com.