Elisabeth Dee DeVos, popularly known as Betsy DeVos, was born in Holland, Michigan 59 years ago to Elsa and Edgar Prince, both of Dutch ancestry. She was brought up with good Christian morals and was a devoted member of Christian Reformed Church located in North America. From Holland Christian High School, she proceeded to pursue a BA degree at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Betsy started involving herself in business, community activism, and politics while still in college. She later met and married Dick DeVos, a fellow entrepreneur, and activist, with whom they started engaging in philanthropic and charitable works through The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. Betsy has been a loyal member of the Republican Party. After the Republicans won the recent presidential elections, Betsy was nominated by President Donald Trump, and later confirmed by the Senate as the 11th United States Secretary of Education. Outside of politics and business, Betsy is a mother of four children and a grandmother of five. She is still a firm Christian, currently a staunch member of Grand Rapids-based Mars Hill Bible Church where she is also a church elder.
Betsy’s Involvement in Basic Education
The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation donated $150,000 to the New York-based Success Academy Charter Schools in 2015. An additional $150,000 was also approved by the foundation for a later donation. At the same time, a non-profit charter school management company, GREAAT Schools received $5,000 from the organization. Through the same foundation, Betsy and Dick donated funds to the tune of $200,000 to The Potter House, a Christian school in Betsy’s hometown in Michigan. According to Betsy, The Potter House was the school that sparked her interests in education advocacy. Alliance for School Choice, a non-profit affiliate school of the American Federation for Excellence in Education, was the lucky beneficiary of $100,000 in 2015. The Foundation for Excellence in Education where DeVos was once a board member received $50,000 from the couple. Check this related article from nypost.com
Betsy’s Involvement in Higher Education
Institutions of higher learning have also been beneficiaries of The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The foundation donated $500 million to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, prompting the university to rename its arts management institute after the DeVos couple. Michigan-based Davenport University, which is a private non-profit university, received more than $150,000 in donations from the foundation while The School of Missionary Aviation Technology received $250,000. Betsy DeVos presented the Calvin College with a grant of $35,000 last year. She also made contributions of more than $110,000 to Ferris State University, a public university in her home state of Michigan. The family foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Christian-related education groups. These groups include, among others, Ada Christian School Society and Christian Schools International. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Xprize Foundation received $250,000 and $1,8 million respectively.
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