The Philanthropic Work that Drives Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos is our country’s U.S. Secretary of Education. Yet, what she does for our country is not merely a job for her, it is the culmination of her life’s passion. When she was still in college she first saw the power of what politics could do to change the face of education and make serious reform.




Both she and her husband, Dick DeVos, are very passionate about children getting the best education possible. One of Mrs. DeVos’s greatest passions is building an education system where children don’t have to go to a certain school simply because of where their parent’s residence happens to be. Many children, especially in urban areas, are often going to schools where advanced opportunties are unavailable. These school often contain violence and with no other options, it can alter the path of a child’s life.


Mrs. DeVos launched the Great Lakes Education Project in Michigan in response to the lack of education reform. The goal of the committee was to expand charter schools throughout Michigan and give greater access to children. The committee was very successful in just two years. Mrs. DeVos did not want to stop with her own home state and wanted to expand the project nationally.


While her goal of national reform is always on the front burner, Mrs. DeVos holds several personal charities near and dear to her heart. She and her husband work closely with Potter’s House Christian School in Michigan. For more than 30 years, Potter’s House Christian School has been providing low income families in Grand Rapids Michigan with an opportunity for their children to earn a better education.


Mrs. DeVos and her husband came upon the school in the early 1990s. They started off working with the school by granting scholarships to children with families that couldn’t afford tuition. However, the school touched their hearts and they continued to work with them to become one of the top donors of the school.


Mrs. DeVos also served on the boards of Children First of America and the American Education Reform Council during the 1990s. She and her husband worked together to pass Michigan’s first charter-school bill.



In addition to the work she does in the educational sector, Betsy DeVos also holds a variety of roles in the nonprofit sector. She serves on many boards, both nationally and her in local hometown, including the Kennedy Center’s DeVos Institute for Arts Management, the Foundation for Excellence in Education and she is also on the board for Kids Hope USA. She and her husband, Dick DeVos created the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. Their contributions vary vastly, but overall they are educationally focused and Betsy utilizes her role their to continue to work for education reform from a philanthropic perspective.


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