The current U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, may not have been familiar to everyone in the country but there are many within her community that are aware of the work she has accomplished throughout her life. These accomplishments have been on her own as well as through her family’s non-profit, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.
DeVos became politically active during her college years. She has been a staunch supporter of conservative policies and has taken part in many committees and campaigns. Most notable was her work with her husband, Dick DeVos, as he ran for the governor’s position in Michigan as the 2006 Republican nominee. She was also the chair of the Michigan Republican Party for several years.
In addition to her political efforts, DeVos is also known for her numerous philanthropic works. Much of what she has devoted her time to is focused on the cause that is nearest to her heart. Childhood educational opportunities are foremost in the mind of DeVos as vital to the well-being of families and communities. As a mother herself, she understands how important it is for every parent to see their children succeed.
To help make success easier for children that may not have all of the same opportunities as her own children, DeVos has worked on her own and with the family foundation on numerous projects. This includes starting a foundation that provided scholarships to low-income families. The scholarships paid the tuition of the school the parents chose for their children and made it possible for hard-working students to have better opportunities than what was available in their own neighborhood.
DeVos worked in public schools in Grand Rapids as a mentor for children at-risk. Her 15 years of hands-on experience helped her to realize many of the challenges facing parents today. Betsy DeVos also served on the board of directors of the charitable organizations Children First America and the American Education Reform Council. She formed a PAC that sought to expand charter schools in Michigan called the Great Lakes Education Project. She is also the founder of the American Federation for Children. The group is aligned with other charitable groups that lobby for reform and expansion of the charter school system. Read more about her philanthropy at MLive.
Much of DeVos’ work has shown positive results well beyond the Michigan borders. States across the country have students that have either directly benefited from her efforts or been helped by groups that have followed the lead of her organizations. As the education secretary, she hopes to be an even louder voice as she advocates for better opportunities and more options for all children in America.