Betsy DeVos is the 11th secretary of education of the United States government. She was nominated by President Donald Trump and her appointment was confirmed by the US Senate on February 2017. For almost three decades, Secretary DeVos is a passionate advocate for children and parents. She is especially looking for reforms that would help underserved children avail of high-quality education.
Secretary DeVos’ passion in education was greatly influenced by her mother who was a public school teacher. When she became a mother, she learned the sad reality that not all children in the US are given equal chance to a good education. She saw work leaders strive to boost educational options for students. Since then, Secretary DeVos has been fighting to provide better educational opportunities across the US. Betsy DeVos served for almost two decades as an in-school teacher for children at risk at Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan.
According to the secretary of education, her daily interaction with students, co-mentors, and parents changed her perspective about education and about life. She worked to back the development of new educational choices in District of Columbia’s 25 states. She believes that the household income and the place where the child lives should not be the primary determinant of the child’s chance to access a world-class education.
Before her appointment as the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos was the chairman and co-founder of Windquest Group. It is a privately owned investment management multi-company operating group. The firm invests in manufacturing, technology, and clean energy. She was also one of the board of directors of various local and national civic and charitable organizations. This includes Kids Hope USA, Mars Hill Bible Church, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, ArtPrize, and Kendall College of Art and Design.
In her interview with Philanthropy, Secretary Devos was asked about the progress of the private-school voucher program. She shared that in 17 US states as well as in District of Columbia, 250,000 students enrolled in 33 publicly funded schools are experiencing the private-choice programs. The growth of the movement is increasing and just last year there were additional 40,000 students who are in the educational-choice programs. She added that they made a poll in five states and established that educational choice is popular among students especially Latinos. The convergence of events, she noted that people are now more aware that the customary public schools are not succeeding, and in many cases, are failing.
In politics as well as in business, Secretary DeVos and her family try to find innovative ways to solve social issues. She shared her want for reform through her involvement in various nonprofit organizations. Secretary DeVos is the chairman of many organizations and movements. This includes Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Alliance for School Choice, and American Federation for Children.
Betsy DeVos was born in 1958 into the conservative and wealthy Prince Family. She grew up in the Christian Reformed Church in Holland in Michigan. It is a Dutch community proximate to the shores of Lake Michigan. She went to Calvin College and took up a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is happily married to Dick DeVos who is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and community activist. Her husband’s family was the co-founder of Amway.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.