Betsy DeVos is an American businesswoman and the current United States Secretary of Education. Born Elisabeth Dee Prince in Holland Michigan, the fifty-nine-year-old mother of four is married to Dick DeVos. Betsy DeVos was educated at Holland Christian School and later proceeded to Calvin College in Michigan where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
She formerly worked as the finance chairperson of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for two years under the George W. Bush Administration. Betsy DeVos is also an active member of the Republican Party and has previously served the party in different positions. She was the Chair of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996-2000. She also returned to the same position from 2003-2005.
Together with her husband, DeVos founded the Winquest Group in 1989. The group which she chairs is an active investor in technology, manufacturing, and clean energy. Betsy and her husband are also investors and sit on the board of Neurocore. Neurocore centers are specialized in offering biofeedback therapy. Biofeedback involves the use of instruments to monitor changes in the body systems during physiological activity.
Launched in 1989, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation focuses on cultivating leadership, accelerating transformation and leveraging support for education, community, arts, justice and leadership. The foundation has donated to numerous charity organizations where the lifetime charity giving of the fund has reached a staggering one hundred and thirty-nine million dollars.
The group has also made notable contributions to education based organizations. Private Christian Schools have been benefactors of the donations having received at least eight and a half a million dollars from 1999-2014. Charter schools and public schools have also received around five million dollars and sixty thousand dollars respectively within that time. The foundation has also had specific donations to the organizations particularly the Grand Rapids High School Association which has benefited from donations of slightly over two million dollars. Ada Christian School and the Holland Christian Schools have also received almost a half a million dollars each from the gifts.
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Betsy DeVos is a member of various boards which concur with her beliefs. She has grown to prominence through her leading role as an advocate for the educational choice movement. Under the educational choice movement, Betsy DeVos has championed the right of students in private schools having access to scholarships. The movement which she and her husband first started, by supporting individual students in Potter’s House Christian School, has now grown nationally. Several states including Virginia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana have embraced the program. The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts has also made donations amounting to twenty-two and a half million dollars to help manage the institution. Betsy and the DeVos family also initiated an international art competition, ArtPrize in 2014. She is also an active Christian activist.
Mrs. DeVos pursues reform through her uncountable nonprofit roles, and her efforts can only be lauded as noble for lack of a better word.
Visit Betsy’s profile on twitter.com.