Betsy DeVos: Giving Without Reservations
Philanthropy is something which comes from the heart. Having the spirit to give whatever small or big you have is not something most people can do. But for Betsy DeVos in conjunction with her husband, philanthropy is in their genes. She has been actively involved in philanthropic activities for the last 30 years and is still on. Betsy DeVos is an acclaimed American businesswoman, educationist, politician and she currently serves as the 11th Secretary of Education in the United States.
Throughout her lifetime, she has been at the forefront in advancing education reforms through her philanthropic activities to enable all deserving Americans to get a decent education. She is also a stronger supporter of the Republican Party, and she is well known for her unrelenting support for school voucher program, school choice and charter schools.
She and her husband, Dick DeVos launched the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation in 1989. The foundation is founded on principles of faith and is centered on cultivating good leadership, acceleration of transformation and leveraging support for education, arts, community, leadership, and justice. Over the years, the foundation has given out over $150 million in charitable contributions. In 2015 alone, the foundation contributed $11.6 towards charity work.
There are various organizations which are supported by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation. They include Acton Institute, Center for Individual Rights, Institute for Justice, Baptist for Life and much more. In relation to education charities, her foundation has supported several Christian schools. Since 1999, the foundation has given out over $8.6 million to private Christian schools, $5.2 million to charter schools, $59,750 to the public education system, $2.39 million to the Grand Rapids Christian School and a lot more.
Her interest in education was aroused by her mother who worked as a public school teacher. The interest was more intensified when she took her kids to school and was confronted by the reality that parents and their children faced while trying to access education. She discovered that not every American child has an equal chance of getting an education.
In the 1990’s she served as a board member at American Education Reform Council and that of Children First America. The two charities were actively involved in the expansion of education reforms by providing tax credits and vouchers to learners. Betsy and Dick were politically involved in the passing of Michigan’s first charter school bill in 1993. She was also active in the educational choice movement that was aimed at creating more choices for the American child.
Their philanthropic work doesn’t only end in education. She is also very active in arts and has contributed significantly to the advancement of art. During President W. Bush tenure, she was appointed as the board directors of Kennedy Center for Performing Arts where she served between 2004 and 2010. During her tenure, in 2010, she and her husband contributed $22.5 million to support the activities of the Center.
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