Education Tops A Long List Of Philanthropic Work Completed By Betsy DeVos

The name Betsy DeVos may have only become commonly known in the U.S. across the course of 2016 when the education reformer was given the role of Secretary of Education but I was aware of her career long before this important political role was given to her. As a resident of Detroit, Michigan my own family have benefitted from the charter school system Mrs. DeVos helped to bring to the area which has made a major impact on the standard of education received by thousands of students from low-income families across the state. What I find most shocking about the role of Betsy DeVos in the education reform movement is the lack of publicity the work of this member of the billionaire DeVos and Prince families received for her work as a leading figure in the education reform sector.


Betsy DeVos has always been a political figure for those of us living and working in the Michigan area as she has acted as the Chairperson for the Republican movement within the state. Members of her inner circle have also explained Betsy was a highly politicized individual during her years at Calvin College before finding her natural home in the education reform movement; despite the fact she has been a major force in education for many years, Betsy DeVos has also looked to become involved in various other areas of interest, particularly the arts. Alongside her role as the Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, Betsy DeVos was also chosen by President George W. Bush to take on a position with the board of the Kennedy Center for the Arts.


For myself, Betsy DeVos is best known for her work as an education reformer but I have also been looking into the many other areas of interest she has been involved in for a number of years. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the hometown of the DeVos family the annual ArtPrize was created by Dick and Betsy DeVos to provide a higher level of community involvement in the arts than ever before. I was impressed with the way the graduate of Calvin College managed to create an art prize voted on by the viewers of the festival to give the residents of the area a stake in the work entered into the festival.


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