Dick DeVos is a public figure and widely known throughout much of the United States. Although he is primarily a businessman and philanthropist, most people associate his name with Republican politics. This is partially deserved as DeVos was the 2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate for the state of Michigan. In that race, he only narrowly lost to the then-incumbent governor, Jennifer Granholm. DeVos is also publicly known as the husband of the current Education Secretary under the Trump Administration, Betsy DeVos. All told, his association with Republican politics has been indelibly etched into the public mind.
However, the real Dick DeVos is hardly a career politician. To the contrary, he has spent the vast majority of his career in business, building dozens of highly successful companies and serving on the boards of many more. DeVos has also been a grassroots community activist from the free-market side of things, helping to save his hometown of Grand Rapids by fomenting huge amounts of economic growth at a time when that city was on the brink of falling into economic despair.
But there is one area where few people known of DeVos’ hefty contributions. And it also happens to be in this area where his efforts may ultimately prove to have made the most difference.
DeVos has long been interested in education, particularly, how to help the nation’s struggling inner-city kids who have been forced, by accidents of birth, into educational institutions that more closely resemble prisons than schools. One of DeVos’ first efforts was the Detroit New Urban Learning School, a charter that he personally helped to design from the ground up.
DeVos took a couple of simple principles that should have been obvious to the public education system and he applied them to great success with the New Urban Learning School. For example, the school simply doesn’t tolerate criminal activity or serious disruption. Students who engage in highly disruptive behavior are expelled. But that has hardly ever been a problem at the school because it tends to attract students who are there to learn and who have education-oriented families.
Another aspect of the schools that DeVos has created is that they don’t design curricula around the lowest common denominators. Students are put in classes that are appropriate to their talent levels. The results have been astounding. Taking its students entirely from some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the country, the New Urban Learning School has consistently posted top-end standardized test scores, a feat that many in public education deemed to be impossible.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.
Betsy DeVos is the present US Secretary of Education; she is also a businesswoman, activist, politician and philanthropist. I discovered that Betsy is well known because of her advocacy on school voucher programs, school choice, charter schools and links to the Reformed Christian Community. She is married to Dick DeVos, former CEO of Amway, a multi-level marketing company. Betsy DeVos and her husband are involved in philanthropy activities through the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The foundation was launched in 1989 and their giving is motivated by their faith, as I read on their website. The foundation’s philanthropy is centered on cultivation of leadership, accelerate transformation and leverage support in a number of crucial areas: arts, education, community, leadership and justice.
Betsy DeVos’ Philanthropy Work and Financial Giving
Among the wealthy persons in West Michigan, nobody derives their social clout from the car they drive or clothes they wear. The influence that a wealthy person from this area gets comes from how much you give out. The DeVos family name is at the pinnacle of West Michigan’s social clout amongst other philanthropy-mined and wealthy families like Meijer and Van Andel, according to an article I read. The DeVos family has finally shed a light on the total amount of money they have given for charity. The total amount they have given in their lifetime is almost $1.2 billion. This was the amount that the family foundation reported to Forbes, which had ranked the family at number 20 on its Top 50 list of givers in 2014, the five DeVos family foundations had donated $94 million that year. Read more news on Los Angeles Times.
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation Financial Giving
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, giving constitutes a long record of support to school choice in the state. The foundation gave out over $10 million in 2015 to various organizations and also pledged an additional $3.2 million in form of grants to be paid later. The foundation approved a $400,000 funding for the Louspeaker Media Inc., thereby assisting Campbell Brown, a former CNN anchor to launch, The 74, an education site. The foundation donated $150,000 to the Success Academy Charter Schools in 2015 and promised another similar amount in future. The GREAAT Schools, Inc., a not-for-profit contract school management corporation, received $5,000 from the foundation. The Potter’s House in Grand Rapids received $200,000 and $100,000 went to the non-profit Alliance for School Choice. I also read that the University of Maryland College Park Foundation received $500,000.
About Betsy DeVos
Betsy DeVos received a B.A. degree from Calvin College in Michigan, before that she had attended the Holland Christian High School. Both these institutions were Christian Reformed Schools. She is a former Chairperson of The Windquest Group. She is married to Dick DeVos and together they are blessed with four children and five grandchildren. Visit Betsy’s website at betsydevos.com.