Betsy Devos: Philanthropist, Leader and Secretary of Education

Betsy Devos was born in Holland, Michigan where she attended the local private school, Holland Christian High School. She later attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she graduated with a degree in Business Economics. She married Dick Devos and together they have four children. Though she is a member of one of the wealthiest families in Michigan, she is a great philanthropist and also invests in companies that further help people.


In 1980 Betsy Devos and her husband began The Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation which supports leadership, education, art, justice, and community and has donated money to hospitals, health research, arts organizations, Christian schools, evangelical missions and free market think tanks. She has served as a chairperson for Acton Institute which is a think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2004, she was appointed to the board of Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Betsy and Dick Devos donated 22.5 million to them in 2010. Along with her family, she founded Artprize, an art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She served as a chairwoman of the board of Alliance for School Choice. The Devos family has also set up a yearly scholarship, The Betsy and Dick Devos Scholarship for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship. She is also a member of the board of the think tank founded by Jeb Bush, Foundation for Excellence in Education.


As a businesswoman, she is for the privately held operating group, Windquest Group. This company invests in technology, manufacturing, and clean energy. It was founded by Betsy and Dick Devos in 1989. Both Betsy and her husband are also chief investors and former board members of the group of brain performance centers, Neurocore. These centers give biofeedback therapy for autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, depression, and anxiety.


In November of 2016, Betsy Devos became president Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education and was praised by supporters of school choice. Both former presidential candidates, Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney supported the nomination of Devos. Bush called her an “outstanding pick.” Romney hailed her as a “smart choice.” She was confirmed as the Secretary of Education on February 7, 2017. With her background in education and philanthropy, Betsy Devos will do great things as our Secretary of Education.


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Betsy DeVos’s Impact on Education

The field of education may be one of the most important that a person can go into. It takes dedication and passion to succeed in this field that often does not offer many rewards. Betsy DeVos has proven that she is committed to this field. With more than three decades of experience working with parents and children, DeVos has a passion and dedication that few can match. She is constantly looking for ways to improve this system by any means necessary.

DeVos had a love for education at a very young age. As a child in Michigan, she watched her mom impact lives each day as a public school teacher. Her love would continue to grow as she became a young adult. DeVos worked for more than a decade and a half as an in school mentor for at-risk students in Michigan. During this time she grew concerned for a number of students whose parents struggled to give them the education they wanted. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.

Betsy DeVos has worked for years to support the creation of new educational choices for students. During this time she has demonstrated that she is more than willing to use her own money to assist in this process. Her philanthropic efforts have been widespread throughout her career. Early in her career she began giving tuition assistance to students at Potter’s House Christian School. Realizing the limits of this effort she would continue to search for other ways to improve educational choice.

The DeVos family would continue to give back in many ways. In 1990 Betsy’s husband, Dick DeVos, ran and was elected to the State Board of Education in Michigan. Soon after Besty created her own foundation that gave scholarships to low-income families. The ultimate goal was to help give parents the ability to decide where their kids would go to school. Betsy desire to make the biggest impact possible would lead her to other opportunities after that. Besty DeVos worked with Children First America and the American Education Reform Council. These groups worked to use vouchers and tax credist to help increase educational choice.

Throughout her career, Betsy DeVos has demonstrated that she is committed to doing whatever it takes to improve educational opportunities for everyone. Now the Secretary of Education she has the ability to have perhaps the biggest impact she has ever had. If her resume is any indication, she will continue doing whatever she can to make an impact. Visit Betsy’s profile page on

From Humble Beginnings to Philanthropic Acts: George Soros Changing the Political and Social Waters

George Soros is a name to reckon with. He is among the world’s most established investors. He doubles up as a philanthropic figure too, having spent more than $ 12 billion on charity programs to date. Through his organization, Open Society Foundations, he provides financial support to persons and organizations that strive for transparency, political accountability, transparency and bodies that spearhead for equality and justice.

This Man George Soros

George Soros was born on 12th August, 1930 in Budapest, Hungary to Jewish parents. Due to the rampant anti-Semitic prosecutions happening during the WW1 era, he fled his home country to England, where he lived his teenage life as a refugee. Despite this impoverishment, he somewhat managed to attend the London School of Economics, where he studied finance and philosophy. Due to inadequate finances, he took up any menial job to earn additional money to fund his education.

His destitution led him to other charitable organizations albeit his efforts to solicit funds from them were barred by the myriad questions they sort to establish his dire need for help. That strongly teed him off. Hence, he promised himself to extend his philanthropic contributions towards shunning bureaucratic organizations, and the ones that were overly inquisitive and maliciously found fault in the less fortunate. He had a liberal political mind. Ironically, he funded organizations that were anti-Jewish, since Jews were known to oppress poor black people. Further, he expended his financial aid to open-minded political figures who vied for political seats.

About Open Society Foundations

Open Society Foundations, formerly known as Open Society Institute, was established in 1979, after George Soros had amassed enough money to his name. His huge success as a hedge financial manager led him to form the foundations to counter authoritative sorts of government systems. His liberty of mind harbored one notion: The global social framework is absolutely imperfect, and can be improved. Hence, he started by offering scholarships to black students and their Eastern Europe counterparts to study abroad. Today, the foundations cover regional blocks, encompassing a total of 37 states. Its headquarters are in New York City, NY.

As a matter of fact, Soros once stated, “My crowning influence in the financial markets has provided me with a great extent of independence. That has made my take on critical political and social matters to be highly regarded. Since many individuals lack the same capacity, I take it as an obligation.”

Milestones Reached

Now, Open Society Foundations has extended a philanthropic hand to victims of natural calamities and drug abuse in an attempt to restore their lives. Politically, the foundation has empowered politically suppressed voices to be heard through establishment of organized media houses. For instance: it offered funds to set up the first ever state of the art media house in Palestine as the first step to an independent media coverage.

Read this story at Politico about George Soros.

Dick DeVos – A Great Businessman, Visionary, And Philanthropist

Richard “Dick” DeVos Jr or Dick DeVos as he is popularly known as is one of the most noted philanthropists in the United States today. He and his wife, Betsy DeVos, have made charitable donations that amount to over $139 million. Dick DeVos is the son of the co-founder of Amway Corporation; Richard DeVos Sr. Amway is known to be one of the largest manufacturing and distribution companies in the world when it comes to consumer products. Dick DeVos completed his graduation from Northwood University doing Bachelors in Business Administration.


Dick Devos joined his father’s company in 1974 and worked in various positions for the next ten years understanding the business from the ground up. It helped him understand the company, its culture, and its vision. It is what his father wanted so that he can align well with the mission of the Amway to provide high-quality consumer product to its vast clientele globally while benefitting the people who sell it by giving them the opportunity to earn their livelihood by becoming company’s dealer. Dick DeVos was promoted to the position of company’s Vice President in 1984 and was responsible for managing company’s operation in 18 countries. He gained significant experience during his tenure as Vice President at Amway. It inspired him to found his own business, and thus, he left Amway in 1989 to form Windquest Group, which dealt in manufacturing, supplying and storage of organizers.


In the year 1991, father of Dick DeVos asked him to manage the Orlando Magic basketball franchise, which the DeVos acquired that time. However, he has also involved actively in the business and management of Windquest Group at that point. When his father retired from Amway in 1993, Dick DeVos returned to Amway, this time as President. Amway went through major transformation and restructuring in 2000, which was overseen by Dick DeVos. During the reorganization of Amway, a parent company named Alticor Corporation was formed. Alticor Corporation, established by Dick DeVos comprised of Amway Corporation, Access Business Group, and Quixtar Corporation. It is this new structure that helped the company reach out new markets and expanded its foothold in 50 new countries.


Dick DeVos retired from his post at Amway in 2002 to focus his time and efforts on the success of his other company, Windquest Group. He also wanted to devote his time to political, social and charitable causes. Both Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy DeVos, are attached to many social and charitable causes, including the Economic Freedom Fund, which they both head together since 1993. The fund is dedicated to helping fund worthy students to go ahead and pursue higher studies through the scholarship provided by the fund. In 2016, Dick DeVos and family gave $11.6 million in a donation for various charitable causes. The DeVos family in entirety has made charitable donations amounting to $1.33 Billion in their lifetime.


Philanthropy Forms The Backbone Of The Work Of Dick DeVos

I have always taken a keen interest in the work of business leaders from across the world and have recently become interested in the life and work of the former President of the AmWay group Dick DeVos. In the last I was only aware of Dick through his work with AmWay and a little from his own Windquest group investments in green energy that have made some headlines; however, reading an interview with Dick’s wife Betsy with the Philanthropy Roundtable made it clear to me that both of these impressive members of the DeVos family have made a major commitment to helping others that they have carried through for many years. In fact, Dick and Betsy stumbled into the education reform community when they began visiting schools in their own Grand Rapids area of Michigan and found many families were struggling to simply provide a competitive education for their children. Many of the programs established to support existing school choice programs and develop new ones are completed through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, which has been a major source of innovation and financial backing for groups and programs across the U.S. In their own Grand Rapids area of the world, Dick and Betsy have made a major investment in school choice with the development of the West Michigan Air Academy charter school that is located in the ground of Gerald R. Ford International Airport; the academy was originally the brainchild of Betsy DeVos when she wished to back her husbands interest in air travel that is shared by thousands of young people across the state. I have always been impressed by the need of people who have achieved much in their life to help others who are also looking to develop their own future, which has been shown in the work of Dick DeVos as he has backed many different programs and business ventures in his home area of Grand Rapids. Many of the investments Dick and Betsy DeVos have made through The Windquest group have been based in Grand Rapids, as has the work completed by Dick to bring economic stability to the region through his involvement with the Grand Action group in Grand Rapids.