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.
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