Recently, President Donald Trump, selected Betsy DeVos to be the education secretary. DeVos is a billionaire philanthropist who chairs a company that deals with investments in technology, clean energy, and manufacturing. Dick Devos, Betsy’s husband, was the former president at Amway, a marketing firm established by his father and which is responsible for the fortune of the DeVos family. The philanthropy efforts of the DeVos family date back a few decades. The reputation of the DeVos family ranks next to that of the Kochs as one of the most renowned conservative funders, injecting millions into leadership institutes, legal groups, and a variety of think tanks.
DeVos Support for School Choice Organizations
One of my favorite philanthropic activities by Betsy is the DeVos Family Foundation which she co-chairs with Dick. The Foundation is located in Michigan, the home of the DeVos family. The foundation supports a charter high school that has an aviation program, the West Michigan Aviation Academy. The school was founded in 2010. The family also funds two Christian schools and a trust that provides scholarships for the needy (The Education Freedom Fund).
DeVos Foundation has also provided funding for the FEE (Foundation For Excellence in Education), and the AFC (American Federation for Children). Betsy is also a chair person at AFC which is linked to the Alliance for School Choice, an initiative that has receive massive support from the Walton Foundation. AFC also has close ties to ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council) and other school choice organizations and think tanks.
DeVos’ Support for Conservative Organizations
DeVos is among the board members of the American Enterprise Institute that deals with public policy. The DeVos foundation gave $750,000 to the think-tank in 2015, and approved $1 million for future funding towards the institute. The DeVos Foundation has also given $10,000 to the Institute for Justice, a law firm that has dealt with school choice cases throughout the country. Additionally, Betsy DeVos has contributed $6,500 to Intercollegiate Institute, a company that promotes conservative ideas.
DeVos’ Support for Christian Groups
I consider Betsy DeVos a religious woman and a true believer of the adage ” blessed is the hand that giveth”. Her efforts of supporting Christian groups can be seen through her contribution to the Grand Rapids Christian Association, the Rehoboth Christian Association, Christian Schools International, and the Ada Christian Society.
DeVos’ Support for Art
DeVos’ has also demonstrated her love for art in her contributions to the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, where she donated $25,000. Betsy has also given to other similar programs such as the Boy Scouts of America, and the Art Prize Grand Rapids
Betsy DeVos is no doubt one of the most recognized philanthropists in American history. Although her donations have been mainly focused on education programs, she has not hesitated to give towards other initiatives. DeVos work in philanthropy is a legacy that shall be viewed alongside the 20th Century history of America. Follow Betsy on Twitter.