In the Philanthropic Footsteps of Betsy DeVos

About Betsy Devos

Born on January 8, 1958, Betsy DeVos, has been in the forefront in reforming the education system. Besides being a reformist, DeVos is a businesswoman as well as an activist who currently serve as the 11th US Secretary of Education. She is a holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Calvin College in Grand Rapids. Her interest in education and reforms that assist underserved children started at an early age inspired by her mother who was a public teacher. Before being appointed to the senate, DeVos was an in-school mentor for close to 15 years for children considered as high-risk in Michigan Public Schools. It’s from this movement that she has worked her way up in creating equal opportunities for more children in America. She also served in various other leadership positions such as chairman of The Windquest Group and as a board member of local charitable groups for example ArtPrize and Kendall College of Arts and design. In her position as the secretary of education, she hopes to give parents greater power in choosing their educational standards. Further, she also hopes to advocate for a return of education control both in the states as well as in the localities by ensuring higher education achieves the dream of successful careers to every student. She terms her success as seeing every parent access opportunities to select the best educational settings regardless of their zip code.

Philanthropic Work

Through the Dick and Betsy Family Foundation, Devos endeavors to cultivate leadership skills mainly in education, community, justice, and equality as well as arts. I am impressed by the huge donations by the organization for example, in 2015, DeVos Foundation contributed $11.6 million that enabled the foundation rank in position 24 of America’s top givers in the Forbes. This donation was made to arts organizations, evangelical mission as well as art organizations. Among her other donations is the DeVos’ gift to Kennedy Center to train leaders involved in hiring artists as well as running the organization.

The gift of $22.5 million given through DeVos Institute of Arts Management would go a long way in providing a practical yet creative way in developing human capital.How does she divide the time to attend to her charity work as well as other office duties? She explains that it’s all about the holistic effort from her and the husband in engaging public-policy advocacy. She further states that she spends more time advocating for the need for more donors to help bring a difference in different areas. I can only imagine a society that has at least ten ‘DeVos’ and how successful the society would be. It remains interesting to see the next huge steps by DeVos in terms of philanthropy which seems to be her passion motivated by faith and marks of excellence.

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