The Philanthropic Vision of Dick DeVos

Betsy DeVos recently sat down with Philanthropy to discuss her work in reforming education. She is optimistic about the future, citing the 250,000 students and 33 private schools in over 17 states that have emerged thanks to her and her husband’s work. But Dick DeVos and Betsy DeVos are no strangers to philanthropy.

Betsy DeVos weighed in on the shifting change of education. She said traditional schools are failing. The solution is creating vouchers, savings accounts, and credits for educational choice. She seems well qualified to comment on the situation.

She and her husband recently gave to education causes, as well as arts and faith clubs in 2013 that surpassed $90 million. Half of the funds went to education, and other portions were dedicated to health, community, and the other causes. Dick DeVos and his wife have been making their community in Michigan a better place for years now.

They have been credited with helping develop better leaders in the teaching industry. It helped reduce the amount students that were skipping their classes. Often times, these students were minorities and didn’t have a lot of money. The amount of increased attendance was 30%.

And they go beyond that, helping churches and those related organizations by helping people get their driver’s licenses, get a job, and access social programs. Often times, it is just a basic meal or a shower that people need. Mel Trotter is one such person who was helped and went from living on the streets to having an apartment in just over a month.

And back on the subject of education, the DeVos pair co-chaired together on the Education Freedom Fund board since way back in 1993. The organization offers scholarships to low-income students in the state of Michigan. DeVos stepped up with a $7.5 million donation, matching the amount of the Children’s Scholarship Fund.

Dick and Betsy DeVos also have co-chaired for Kids First, which allows parents to use tax credits for their education. It helps people access better schools than the public institution offers. They also give to funds like Children First America and American Educational Reform Council, as well as Choices for Children.

Through the giving of the DeVos family, kids have been able to get degrees, such as MBAs, MS, MA and bachelor’s degrees. They also contribute to Grand Action. This is designed to bring public and private officials together to improve Detroit for everyone.


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