Like many people cross the U.S. I was largely aware of Betsy DeVos as one of the most important education reformers in the U.S., but in recent months I have been learning more about the wide range of charitable programs the Michigan born philanthropist enjoys providing support for. Alongside the educational reform programs Betsy has backed she has also provided a large level of support for many arts based programs in Michigan and across the U.S. as well as backing a number of business ventures that will benefit the world through her own The Windquest Group.
Looking back at the life of Betsy DeVos has shown me the Holland, Michigan born philanthropist has always maintained an interest in politics dating back to her days as a student at Calvin College. Twice the chair of the Michigan Republican Party, Mrs. DeVos has impressed me with her ability to cross party lines and work with members of different parties to aid education reform across the U.S.; in Michigan itself Betsy DeVos has helped develop the first aviation based charter school in the history of the U.S. in the form of the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Before helping to form the Detroit Charter School system, Betsy DeVos was already playing an important role in education reform, particularly after attending the Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids and being inspired to assist struggling families in finding the best educational options for their children. I have been pleased to see the Potter’s House Christian School remains an important part of the philanthropic program undertaken by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation each and every year.
I have come to realize the work of Betsy DeVos is far more varied than I believed in the past, not only does she continue to back various educational programs she also looks to develop programs including arts programs and a range of business interests. The first national political role taken on by Betsy DeVos dates back to 2004 when President George W. Bush appointed her to the board of the Kennedy Center for the Arts, a group her own charitable foundation has supported for decades. Business also plays a major role in the work of Betsy DeVos as she and husband Dick have worked together to create The Windquest Group that is uses to invest in various business interest the couple are interested in; the forward thinking nature of Betsy DeVos has been shown, I believe, in the investments made in boxed water supplies and clean energy sources that show the interests of Betsy DeVos. Follow her on Twitter.