Inspiring Through Action: The Philanthropic Work of Betsy DeVos

While recently rising to national prominence thanks to her position as United States Secretary of Education, those active in the worlds of public education and philanthropy are already familiar with the contributions and successes of Betsy DeVos. Her current post in the Trump administration reflects a lifelong commitment to both raising up academic standards across the country and opening educational opportunities to a broader range of students.

 

Betsy DeVos is no stranger to leadership roles, as her long career is rich with examples of her participation in key advisory positions. As chairman she led the Alliance for School Choice, a vital organization in opening up better funded private schools to economically disadvantaged parents though an accessible voucher program. Other groups whose boards she has served on include the American Education Reform Council, Advocates for School Choice, Choices for Children, the Education Freedom Fund, the and Great Lakes Education Project.

 

Along with her husband, Betsy DeVos has made significant financial contributions to a wide range of organizations that promote improving education standards and accessibility. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation made $10 million in donations during just 2015 alone, with over $3 million worth of donations planned for the near future. Some of their recent projects include contributions to Success Academy Charter Schools, GREAAT Schools, Inc., and The Potter’s House, demonstrating her commitment to funding successful schools directly.

 

Betsy DeVos is committed to the success of students well beyond their elementary and high school education, a fact born out by her significant contributions to many colleges and universities around the country. Thee University of Maryland College Park, Ferris State University, the School of Missionary Aviation Technology, and Davenport University are just a few of the colleges she has supported, enabling them to expand their programs significantly. Mrs. DeVos has a strong appreciation for academic programs that promote Christian morals and ethics and has revitalized a number of church-related education groups. Some of these include Christian Schools International, the Grand Rapids Christian School Association, and the Rehoboth Christian School Association.

 

In keeping with her desire to expand school voucher programs across the country, some of Betsy DeVos’ philanthropic efforts have focused on funding advocacy groups that promote opening up education opportunities The Alliance for School Choice and Foundation for Excellence in Education, whose board on which she also served, are two prominent examples.

 

Ever a patron of the arts, Betsy DeVos’ generosity has helped to sustain and grow festivals, competitions, and groups that help keep the arts alive and relevant in America. Some of the programs that have benefited from her support include the Xprize Foundation, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, ArtPrize Grand Rapids, and the Boy Scouts of America.

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