President Trump’s billionaire secretary of education has a long history of putting her money where her views are. Betsy DeVos has lavished millions to support religious organizations, charter schools, and privatize public schools. She and her husband founded the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, which “focuses on education, community, the arts, justice, and leadership.”
Some of the organizations Mrs. DeVos and her family supported include The Heritage Foundation, Mars Hill Bible Church, American Enterprise Institute, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, West Michigan Aviation Academy, ArtPrize, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She also serves as chairman of the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children.
Mrs. DeVos comes from a wealthy family in Michigan and married an heir to one of America’s affluent families, so it’s not really surprising why she and her family have managed to donate millions to various charities in the US.
She is the daughter of Edgar and Elsa Prince. Her father was an immensely successful industrialist, developer, and engineer who founded Prince Corp. Mrs. DeVos in-laws aren’t your ordinary people either. Her husband’s parents happen to be Richard and Helen DeVos. Richard DeVos is the co-founder of Amway, and owner of the Orlando Magic basketball team.
Growing up, the young Betsy attended Holland Christian High School in Michigan. She earned her degree in business administration and political science in Calvin College in Grand Rapids. Echoing her parent’s choice of schools, Mrs. DeVos also sent her children to private Christian schools.
Her appointment as the secretary of education was met with mixed reactions. The inner workings of Congress were fairly new to the billionaire philanthropist, but that’s not to say she isn’t familiar with the political system. Previously, she served as chair for the Michigan Republican Party.
In 1990, her husband was elected to the State Board of Education. He tried his luck in politics too and run for governor of Michigan in 2006, but lost to Democrat Jennifer Granholm.
According to President Trump, Mrs. DeVos is a “brilliant and passionate education advocate.” Her work in the education sector spans more than three decades, serving as an advocate for children and a voice for parents. Her goal is to allow each child in America to get a quality education, regardless of their economic backgrounds.
Perhaps her passion for education was influenced by her mother who was a public school teacher. As Betsy grew, it dawned on her that not all children in America had the opportunity to get a quality education. Upon getting her degree, she joined her hometown leaders and worked hard to provide equal educational opportunities for children.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.