Betsy DeVos, the wife of Dick DeVos became the 11th US Education Secretary after Donald Trump won the 2016 election, and DeVos was chosen because she possesses a keen understanding of what it takes to provide a conducive learning atmosphere and structured operations to schools. She became co-chair of The Windquest Group, a company that she and her husband Dick DeVos Jr. founded 27 years ago prior to her current office. She also headed up the DeVos Foundation which has given over $139 million in charity according to a report on MLive. Just where did it all start though?
Betsy DeVos comes from a business-minded but very generous family from Grand Rapids, MI. Her father was the now-deceased Edgar Prince who built Prince Corporation, and her mother Elsa Prince often spoke on educational and family values as she grew up, and Betsy certainly took them to heart. Her first political activism and volunteer activities took place on the campus of Calvin College where she got her degree, and she continued them as she became a mother of several children and ran a business full-time. Two of the first private schools that she and Dick supported with their $139 million were Potter’s House and Grand Rapids Christian Academy. Later on she helped open a charter school at the Gerald Ford Airport that taught students aviation as well as other mechanical sciences and computer technology.
Dick and Betsy DeVos have also given to other endeavors besides education including the University of Maryland’s Arts Management Institute which is located at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. They also support ArtPrize, an independent art competition in Grand Rapids that gives out thousands of dollars to art works based on a panel of judges’ determinations. Betsy DeVos also has given to local churches as well as mega churches such as Willow Creek Association and Mars Hill Bible Fellowship.
Betsy DeVos has been involved in the Michigan Republican party for years all the way back to when she served as a delegate during primary election periods, and then in 1996 she became the party chairwoman. After her first term as chairwoman, she resigned because she believed she was merely the party mouthpiece and wanted to do more to promote grassroots activism in the party. She returned to chairwoman in 2003 and began to start more fundraising events backing important candidates throughout the years, including later Dick’s run for governor in 2006. After initially being a major critic of former candidate Trump in the 2016 primaries, she accepted his offer after the election to become the US Education Secretary.
To learn more about Betsy DeVos, visit http://www.betsydevos.com/.