Betsy Devos is a reformer. She has been at the forefront of spearheading the educational reform agenda. During her interview with philanthropy magazine in 2013, Betsy said that she was attracted into the movement when their kids were in still in school. Together with her husband Dick Devos, they used to visit Potter’s House Christian School, which has been accepting students from low-income families for over three decades. Their occasional visits gave them a chance to interact with parents who were struggling to pay for their children’s fees. These stories moved them to start supporting children from poor families. Today, the couple supports the Potter’s House. However, Betsy and Dick realized that only a limited number of parents were benefiting from their donations. To this end, Betsy founded an organization that offered scholarships to low-income families. Parents had the liberty of deciding that parents could decide which school to take their kids. Dick committed his time to the course by running for the State Board of Education in Michigan where he was elected in 1990. Visit dbdvfoundation.org to know more about their foundation.
Betsy served on the boards of Children First America and the American Education Reform Council in the 1990s where, together with Dick, they played a major role in passing Michigan’s first charter-school bill in 1993. The two foundations worked towards expanding educational platforms through tax credits and vouchers. In 2000, they tried to change the state constitution to allow tax-credit scholarships or vouchers, but failed. This way, Betsy started (PAC), a political action committee in Michigan, the Great Lake Education Project, which advocated for educational reforms by expanding charter schools in the state. This PAC became successful. Later, she chaired All Children Matter Political organization where they worked to educate the public on the benefits of having greater educational platforms. She then formed the American Federation for Children Action Fund. When she was establishing this entity, 250,000 students were in 33 publicly funded private-choice programs in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The program had gained popularity in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Betsy DeVos is also a transformative leader and businesswoman. She has focused on improving the lives of people and creating environments that will offer them with opportunities to grow. As a business leader, she has served as the chairman of Windquest Group, a private investment and management company that offers a wide range of consumer products and services. Betsy is also an active politician. For four terms, she served as the chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party. Betsy has also taken different leadership roles in campaigns, political action committees and part organizations. She has served on several boards, including American Enterprise Institute, ArtPrize, Devos Institute for Arts Management at the University of Maryland and the Foundation for Excellence in Education.
Check her website for more info at betsydevos.com.