How Betsy DeVos is Doing the Right Thing
Betsy DeVos is a philanthropist like no other. I first heard of her amazing work up in Michigan and her entire family seems to be dedicated to helping people. Where they’re from, it’s not about flashy jewelry or clothing, but how much you can give back to the community. In fact, her family has donated over $1 billion in their lifetime to charitable causes. For example, in 2013 the DeVos family donated a whopping $90 million, and half of that amount went toward causes that were educational. But that’s not all. Not only does the family contribute to education, but also to faith based organizations, with 13% going toward that. And in addition, they gave a fourth of that money surrounding health and community services. Finally, to round out of the giving, they put over ten percent into the arts.
Betsy DeVos is a leader in helping students. With her educational programs, she actually helped lower income minorities increase their rate of attendance in class by about a third. She is on record for believing that schools are the place where young people truly develop and grow and should be treated accordingly. In today’s age, faith is becoming more important to supporting our communities. I was so pleased when I discovered that she is heavily involved in that. Impressively, the church services she teams up with help people get licensed to drive, get hired on jobs, and even have access to social programs. A lot of times, people just need a place to shower and clean up and have a basic good meal. For example, there’s the story of Mel Trotter who was homeless but in a span of 40 days turned her life around. From my research I also found that she was the co-chair for the Education Freedom Fund, and has been since 1993. I think that’s a fantastic qualification for our Secretary of Education. This fund actually doles out scholarships to poor kids in Michigan. By getting access to funds for school, they are able to go on and dream big. DeVos even matched a seriously generous amount of $7.5 million of donations to this fund, matching the Children’s Scholarship Fund’s offering.
Kids First is another education oriented organization that she championed. This helps parents get vital tax credits that they can use toward educating their children with more choices and less restrictions. This brought education back into the limelight again in Michigan. Betsy, along with her husband Dick have supported numerous causes like Children First America, Choices for Children, and American Education Reform Council. Dick presides over the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, which assists hospitals and groups involved with economics as well. With the DeVos family’s help, the youth can aim high, going for MA, MS or MBA degrees. They can enjoy scholarships for entrepreneurs, and work with government and business leaders to fix problems in the community, such as Detroit. This collaboration, called Grand Action, has led to the revitalization of Detroit. I, for one, am a fan. Read more about her philanthropy at MLive.com.