Betsy DeVos is one of the leading lights as far as philanthropy is concerned. Apart from being the Health Secretary in the recently inaugurated Trump government, she is an accomplished businesswoman and humanitarian. Her efforts to improve education equality, in particular, catapulted her into national attention long before her cabinet appointment. Therefore, it was unsurprising when she was handed the education docket in the new regime.
The DeVos family is known in philanthropy circles for the massive donations that it makes to different causes. Betsy is at the center of it all because she established the Dick and Betsy Family Foundation with her husband, and uses it as a vehicle to move their philanthropy agenda forward. She also heads the foundation, which is dedicated to different advocacy and public interest causes throughout the US. Under her stewardship, the foundation has carved a niche for itself owing to the outsized contributions that it makes to educational, economic, political, and social causes. Since its formation, more than 140 million dollars has been channeled to different causes across the globe. Betsy’s dedication towards charity saw her named by Forbes among top givers in America in 2015.
The Inspiration behind Philanthropy
Betsy was exposed to philanthropy from a young age. Her dad was a successful industrialist who also left a mark in the community due to his generous donations to different causes. Getting raised in such a family made her realize the significance of supporting humanitarian causes. Her marriage to Dick DeVos strengthened her resolve all the more because the DeVos family was already known for its humanitarian efforts. Betsy and Dick were motivated to establish the family foundation because they wanted their efforts to leave a legacy, and there was no better way of doing it.
Dedication Towards Education
Betsy Devos mainly focuses on the improvement of education standards besides ensuring that kids from all walks of life are accorded equal access to learning opportunities. Figures from her foundation clearly show this because, in 2015 alone, nearly 5 million dollars was channeled to education reform. Betsy’s dedication to education reform was steered by her observation that the existing education system doesn’t have the capacity to fully address the varying needs of learners. This means that it cannot be used as a basis in the fulfillment of the American Dream.
So far, donations made through the foundation have benefited tens of schools in Michigan and beyond. This includes Grand Rapids-based Compass College of Cinematic Arts, Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning, the West Michigan Academy, Rehoboth Christian School, and Potter’s House. Betsy points out that institutions that benefit from her donations are chosen because they offer the perfect environment for accountability and academic excellence. She hopes that the donations will keep having a noble impact on local communities.
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