DICK DEVOS: AN ENTREPRENEUR AND PHILANTHROPIST WITH A VISION

Dick DeVos is a philanthropist, a pilot, a celebrated sailor, a businessman, an author and an entrepreneur. He has been active in the American political scene as the Republican Gubernatorial candidate for Michigan. Mr. DeVos is also the CEO and president of The Windquest Group.

 

Mr. DeVos is married to Betsy DeVos who is the secretary of education in America and also an amazing woman. The couple started the Windquest Group in 1989. The company deals with investments in hospitality, technology, non-profit, clean energy, and manufacturing. His wife is the chairman of the company. The couple is a strong advocate of education, and they have been financially supporting underprivileged pupils at The Potter’s House School in Grand Rapids.

 

In 1990, Dick DeVos was elected to Michigan’s State Board of Education. The entrepreneur did this to ensure that all children get equal opportunities to schools in America. In 1993, the couple was also involved in passing the first Michigan charter-school bill. In 2000, they also unsuccessfully lobbied for the state constitution change to accept tax-credit vouchers or scholarships. As a way of fighting for the education rights of underprivileged children in America, Dick DeVos and the late John Walton founded a 527 political organization called All Children Matter.

 

His wife Betsy DeVos served as the chairman of the organization. His involvement in education choice and love for aviation led him to start a charter high school. The school is called the West Michigan Aviation Academy, and it is located in Grand Rapids Gerald Ford Airport. The school has an aviation mechanics and science curriculum. The children who attend it also get the chance of getting technician training and they also practically fly once they get to ninth grade. In addition to this, the pupils also get a first-hand opportunity to pursue pilot training if they desire to learn more.

 

About Dick Devos

 

Other positions that Dick DeVos has held in the past include the Amway president and Orlando Magic NBA president. Amway is a brainchild of his father Richard DeVos, and he has been involved in it ever since he was very young. Mr. DeVos and his wife are the founders of a charity organization called the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.

 

Dick DeVos attended The Northwood University, and he graduated with a Business Administration Bachelor’s Degree. In addition to this, he also attended the executive study programs in Wharton’s School and The Harvard Business School. However, he didn’t graduate from these schools. Nonetheless, he has honorary doctorates which he received from Northwood University, Grove City College, and Central Michigan University. Dick DeVos got married to Besty DeVos over thirty-five years ago. The couple has six grandchildren and seven children.

 

For updates, follow Dick DeVos on Facebook.

The Student Engagement Approach at Success Academy is a Success

Success Academy Charter Schools are worth boasting about. The success of Success Academy is abounding and worth note considering the small amount of time the school has been open. Eva Moskowitz formed Success Academy in 2006, and it is now the largest and highest performing free, public charter school network in New York City. This is an amazing feat!

Success Academy is open to all children in the state of New York and has 41 schools throughout the state in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Bronx. However, due to a recent abundance of student applicants the size of Success Academy may be growing. For the 2017 year, there were a total of 17,000 applicants with only 3,017 seats available. As a result there has been a request for a sector expansion.

One need not question the reasoning behind parents’ desire to become part of the Success Academy family when statistics are considered. According to academic scores, students at Success Academy have scored in the 1% in Math, the 2% in English , and the 5% in Science in New York.

How does Success Academy Charter Schools create a platform for such high percentages of student success?

The team at Success Academy ensure students have a strong core knowledge with critical thinking skills that encourage both independence and self-advocacy. This school strives to promote student engagement and parent involvement. A less conventional approach is taken to teaching, promoting more tasks that require hands-on application to stimulate student engagement.

In the high school setting, this hands- on approach includes: community service, internships, and college preparatory activities. In fact, all 9th and 10th graders are required to participate in community service activities and the entire school is required to participate in Service Days. There is also a strong promotion of engagement in elementary schools as well. Elementary students only receive 80 minutes of direct lectures from teachers each day; most of the lessons are hands-on engagement focused learning activities. So, much of the success of the academy is student involvement.

It appears that the engagement approached learning at Success Academy has been quite effective.

Betsy DeVos: Why she Deserves the U.S. Education Secretary Post

Elizabeth “Betsy” DeVos is a proven innovator, an advocate, a disruptor, and a leader in several fields including education, business, and politics. She has pioneered the fight to enact change and remove barriers to allow people to thrive. Betsy was the former Chairman of the Windquest Group. A Michigan-based firm that is privately owned. Betsy has also been active in politics for over 35 years. She was the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, a position that she held four times. Additionally, she has been in numerous leadership positions with party organizations, campaigns, and PACs. Today, her efforts are focused on achieving choice in the education sector.

Philanthropic Giving

Betsy is part of the DeVos family, which has given extensively to charity. Their charitable giving can be traced back decades. Betsy feels quite optimistic about her advocacy for choice in school programs. For instance, she is happy that about 25,000 students are enrolled in publicly funded private choice programs in Washing D.C. and 17 states. She is also quite proud that the movement for choice in school programs is picking up so much momentum. Besides that, she says that polling indicates that private choice programs are viewed quite favorably in most places around the country. According to Betsy DeVos, part of the reason why private choice schooling is gaining so much momentum is the realization that public schooling is not working. In fact, she is quite clear that it is failing in some places. The result is that people are more open to reforms such as tax credits, vouchers, and education savings accounts. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.

How Betsy DeVos Got Inspired to Seek Reform in the Education Sector

Her interest in education reforms began when her children grew up and reached school-going age. She was inspired to help families of low-income status find the right schools for their kids. If she and her husband could choose a school for their children, it only seemed fair that low-income families should have choices too. Her initial involvement was by starting a foundation that offered low-income families scholarships so that they could choose where their kids schooled. Because of that effort, she realized that she was having an impact, but it was too small. The result was that most kids would never get the choice that they deserved. Betsy is quite active in her community. She has served as the chair of numerous charitable organizations such as the American Federation for Children. She is an alumnus of Holland Christian High School. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is married to philanthropist, entrepreneur, and community activist Dick DeVos. Together, they have been blessed with four kids and five grandchildren. Visit her website for more info at betsydevos.com