Betsy DeVos is an American politician, businesswoman, activist, and philanthropist. She is a member of the Republican Party and serves as the Secretary of Education. She is known for her continued support for charter schools, voucher programs, and school choice. Betsy has served significant roles such as being the chairwoman of Michigan Republican Party and the committeewoman for Republicans. Her previous positions include serving as a board member of Foundation for Excellence in Education, Chairwoman of the Alliance for School Choice and the Acton Institute. Betsy is married to Dick. In 2016, Forbes listed DeVos family as the 88th richest in America. The family’s net worth is approximately $5.4 billion. Betsy was born on January 8, 1958. She then grew up in Holland, Michigan. DeVos attended Holland Christian High School, a school located in her neighborhood. She then graduated from Calvin College with a Degree in Arts. At college, she was highly active in campus politics. She began her political journey in the Michigan Republican Party in 1982. It is worth noting that since 1986, she has been elected for sixteen consecutive two-year terms.
The Dick and Betsy Family Foundation were launched in 1989 aiming at accelerating transformation and cultivating leadership. The foundation also leverages support in five key areas which are leadership, education, justice, arts, and community development. In 2015, DeVos Foundation contributed $ 11.6 million. This giving in addition to others previously made amounted to $139 million. In 2015, DeVos family was ranked position 24 on Forbes list of America’s top givers. The foundation has made significant donations to health research, Christian missions, free-market think tanks, art organizations, and Christian schools among others. The family foundation made donations worth $100 million between 1999 until 2014. Half of the contributions supported Christian groups. Some of the organizations that have significantly benefited from the foundation include; Center for Individual Rights, Acton Institute, the Pregnancy Resource Center located in Michigan and Center for Individual Rights. Check this article from New York Post
The donations specifically made to support education include; $8.6 million for private Christian schools, $5.2 for charter schools, and $459, 750 for public schools. Other specific donations include; $458,000 to support Holland Christian Schools, $652,000 for Ada Christian School, and $2.39 million for Grand Rapids Christian High School Association. As she served as one of the board of directors for Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Betsy Devos volunteered together with her husband to teach the board of trustees and art managers how to manage cultural institutions and ways of fundraising for significant projects. The couple then donated $22.5 million to support the program.