Philanthropist

Many people have heard the term educational choice, but not many of them truly understand what it means. Betsy DeVos knows what it means, and she has been fighting to give every American family the opportunity to send their kids to a school of their choosing. Educational choice really means freedom. It is the freedom to not have to watch as your child is forced to attend a school based simply upon the zip code of where their home is located. Since many public schools in today’s society are breeding grounds for violence and frustration, DeVos wants to give children a way out.

 

In the state of Michigan, she has fought to pass legislation that will allow public funds to be used to pay for the tuition fees of private schools and charter schools. She has also supported schools like Potter’s House Christian School, which is a private school that serves an economically challenged community. She supported the school’s mission by making donations to the school directly and by helping to pay the tuition of some of the children whose families couldn’t afford to do so. In Florida, she has been a part of massive changes in the state. In fact, 50,000 students are now attending a school of their family’s choosing partly because of her efforts their.

 

In 2015, Betsy DeVos and her husband, Dick DeVos, donated more than $3 million to educational causes. This was done through their charitable arm the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The $3 million accounted for close to %25 of their giving that year, and they continue to donate plenty to educational causes today. Betsy DeVos is known as a woman who gets out there and gets her hands dirty by becoming directly involved with the changes she hopes to see. In Florida, this involved her making an appearance with the rapper Pitbull. The reason for her visit with him in the state of Florida was related to a charter school he started up.

 

Betsy DeVos attended a private Christian school, herself, during her school years and later studied at Calvin College; a private Christian college. A lot of her inspiration to make educational changes comes from the Dutch community of Holland, Michigan that she grew up in. Many of the people in her hometown supported and continue to support educational choice. Now that she has a national audience as Secretary of the United States, she is hoping to do as much for the American people as possible.

 

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Philanthropist

Help the Community

Beginning as early as 2000 Matthew Autterson has been a fixture in Denver’s philanthropic circles. The Denver Post reports on one such fundraiser for which Autterson secured the $50,000 title sponsor. The event, entitled “The Do at the Zoo” raised approximately $600,000 from 2,500 guests. The proceeds were earmarked for a new children’s carousel. Autterson’s efforts become even more impressive upon learning that the very first “Do” held 11 years before this one attracted only 325 guests. The event has grown in its reach and impact, and now over a decade later, Matthew Autterson is proud to continue giving back to the Denver community.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Autterson received his B.A. in Finance there prior to attending the Univerity of Denver’s Graduate Tax Program. Now, following a successful career in the corporate sector, Autterson has turned his efforts to the non-profit world. His work with Falci Adaptive Biosystems provides devices and care aimed at increasing the independence and quality of life of those that suffer from neuromotor disabilities. Autterson is dedicated to this mission of improving the lives of those that suffer from these disabilities through greater access and control of their environments. Now that he has shifted to the nonprofit sector Matthew can devote more of his time and energy to helping those that are truly in need.

As a member of the Board of Directors of Falci Adaptive Equipment, Autterson has also worked in increasing leisure and pleasure pursuits of those confined to wheelchairs. Through Falci’s Motor Sports program, people that are wheelchair bound are able to race modified race cars in order to enjoy one of life’s great pleasures. Car racing is a great candidate for adaptive devices due to the fact that the car is doing a lot of the work. Adaptive devices allow program participants the opportunity to drive race cars just as the professionals do.

These experiences are complete with racing gear, pit crews, and fast laps around the track. The reality of many people who are in wheelchairs is that they have highly developed upper body muscles and strength. Falci looks to utilize this strength and create devices that can be modified for control by hands and arms.

Matthew Autterson has been interested in helping his community since that Denver Zoo gala back in 2000. Now through his association with Falci Adaptive Equipment, he continues to help make the world a better place.