Spotlight On Betsy DeVos’ Personal Background and Philanthropy Work

When President Trump appointed Betsy DeVos as her government’s secretary of Education, her name was received with both praise as well as controversy from different education quarters. Betsy DeVos is a common name in the area of education with her school choice movement and championing for reforms in the sector. In addition, Betsy has shown a lot of interest in education not only in her political involvement but also through her philanthropy work. Mrs. DeVos has made huge donations to education and promoted various educational organizations operating in the grassroots. Betsy DeVos has been involved with educational matters from her days of working with the Michigan Republican party and through her family foundation, Betsy and Dick DeVos Family Foundation, which she initiated together with her husband.


Work Experience


Betsy DeVos was the chairperson of the Philanthropy Roundtable. The organization seeks to enlighten legislators on the importance of philanthropy and the need to promote it as well by working with various donors to ensure that philanthropic needs are fulfilled. Mrs. DeVos used this platform to support giving to areas that were considered very needy like the K-12 education and in particular her area of school vouchers and choice programs. Betsy DeVos revealed in an interview conducted by the Philanthropy Roundtable that she was motivated to advocate for the school choice program nationally after seeing the struggles and sacrifices parents were making. She came face to face with these challenges when she was serving in two not-for-profit charities based in Michigan. Betsy DeVos noted that parents especially from low-income families were making huge sacrifices to ensure that their children went to good schools. She embarked on a campaign for the formation of a legislation providing for scholarships and vouchers for families with low incomes. After the campaign flopped, she embarked on working with a number of other educational nonprofits operating in a number of states in America. She also increased both her political and philanthropic activity to create awareness about her school choice advocacy.




Betsy DeVos’ philanthropy work involves monetary donations, partnerships with non-profit organizations and being a school mentor. She has partnered with a number of organizations like the Foundation for Excellence in Education and Kids Hope USA to achieve her philanthropic goals. Betsy DeVos has also worked as a mentor for public schools present in Grand Rapids area for a period of 15 years. Her philanthropy work and giving is a trait that she has inherited from her family, which was ranked in position 24 on Forbes’ list of Top Givers in 2015. Betsy DeVos and her husband, Dick DeVos, have contributed around $11.6 million to charity. The main benefactors of the couple’s giving are art and education organizations. Her contribution has helped needy children access education and her school choice advocacy has made more people appreciate the concept.


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