Mrs. Betsy DeVos: a Reformer on a Mission

Mrs. Betsy DeVos, the United States Sectary of Education, has been involved in a number of campaigns, political action committees, and party organizations for more than 30 years. She served as the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for six years, and she is currently the chairman of the Alliance for School Choice, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, and the American Federation for Children. In addition, she is a member of local and national organizations that include Mars Hill Bible Church, Kids Hope USA, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. During an interview with Philanthropy, she explained why she is dedicated to educational reform.


Mrs. DeVos explained that she is pleased with the progression of educational reform. There are roughly 250,000 students from 17 states that attend 33 private-choice programs, which are publicly funded. She explained that her biggest success was the tax-credit scholarship program in Florida, which has the longest period of educational choice in the United States. There are currently more than 50,000 students in Florida who are able to attend their school of choice because of this program. She also mentioned that Louisiana and Indiana were making great strides with the freedom of educational choice.


Her devotion to reforming education started during the 1990s. During this time, she served on two national boards that include the Children First America and the American Education Reform Council. These boards helped expand freedom of educational choice with tax-credit scholarships and vouchers. Mrs. DeVos feels that children should not be restricted to attend a specific school based on the where they live. She believes that each child in the United States has the right to a quality education.


Mrs. DeVos feels that the use of technology could help expand educational choice, and she also feels that homeschooling is a valid option for parents who want more control of their children’s education. In addition, she also wants to expand the educational choice movement by allowing students to use vouchers and tax credits to attend charter schools, magnet schools, and virtual schools. She explained that her husband started a charter school at the Gerald Ford Airport in Grand Rapids that focuses on helping students prepare for a career in the aviation industry. The West Michigan Aviation Academy is tuition-free free charter high school that has students from all over Michigan.


Betsy DeVos and her husband are both heirs to family fortunes, and they have made generous donations to a variety of charities for many years. Forbes ranked the family 24th on the list of America’s Top Givers. In 2015, the couple donated $11.6 million in charitable donations. According to Forbes, the family has donated an estimated $1.33 billion, which is nearly a quarter of their $5.2 billion fortune.


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Stream Energy : Giving back & Earning Loyalty

During times of natural disasters, often we don’t associate charity with corporations, in fact, according to recent data, in 2016 alone corporations donated over 19 Billion dollars to charitable causes and or foundations. Although monetary donations are great, often it takes more than writing a check to make a difference. Companies like Stream Energy are taking the challenge of innovating the way companies give back to the community. In the wake of the disaster in Houston left behind by Hurrican Harvey, only one company was on the ground ready to bring aid in any way possible to people.

With the help of their incredible associates and their foundation “stream Cares”, basic necessities such as toilet paper, women products and warm meals were provided. Stream Energy has made a name for themselves lately, their business model consists of having associates manage themselves in the spirit of entrepreneurship. Associates create networking groups within their community in order to provide people with fixed rate energy plans or mobile plans as well. Because of this many of Stream Energy’s associates create a bond with their customers which leads a majority of them to volunteer. Other than “Stream Cares”, Stream Energy also partners with other associations such as the Red Cros Of America and Dallas based Hope which helps to bring meals and mentors to the homeless children around the Dallas area. In addition, Stream Energy purchases over a thousand water park tickets so these homeless children can experience a day of fun, something that unfortunately they never have the chance to do.

Due to all the efforts being put forward by Stream, many other companies are following suit. According to advisors, forming charitable organizations or foundations allow companies to have what they call a buffer in case any issues arise out into the public such as a scandal or low stock prices. Although not all companies are in it for the good of the community, there is no doubt that the end results are a win-win situation.

Betsy DeVos-Experience and Integrity

Betsy DeVos is an American businesswoman and leader who is well known for her charitable giving and interest in education. She serves as the present Secretary of Education for the Trump presidency. She has been an illustrious member of the Republican Party for decades. DeVos was the Head of the National Republican Party from 1992-1997 as well as the chair of the State Republican Party of Michigan from 1996-2000. She has been a strong supporter of the Detroit Charter school system where she was the Chairperson of the Alliance for School Choice, Action Institute, and All Children Matter PAC.


DeVos has long been recognized for her hard work and support for the educational values in the system. Married to Dick DeVos, the former CEO of Amway, they have founded several foundations which support such places as clinics, schools and energy. She created The Wind quest Group, a private organization she started in 1989 has been led by her to invest money into grants and energy. Mrs. DeVos is also a founding member on the board of Neurocore, a group of offices that does research on the use of biofeedback therapy for people who have autism, depression or attention deficit disorder.


The Family Foundation was started by Dick and Betsy DeVos in 1989 and it has been dedicated to particular areas of focus: Education, Energy, Arts, Community Service and Leadership. The Foundation supports monetary and community support for groups of all kinds. The Family Foundation is reported to have contributed $11.6 million dollars to various places in 2015. This brought the complete total of the couple to $139 million dollars. Forbes ranked the DeVos #24 in the 2015 country’s List of Top Donors.


A huge supporter of the arts, DeVos helped to produce a Broadway play-“The Life and Trials of Aimee McPherson,” with Dick DeVos. This play was created to imitate the life of the famous evangelist. George W. Bush also made DeVos a member to the board of Directors of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in 2004 -2010.


Betsy DeVos started her tenure as the Secretary of Education in January 2017. If her record is any demonstration, she will bring integrity to this appointment as she brings about new changes in the area of our educational system. Her background and talent will ensure progress in a time of great need for our schools. She is a proven leader in the area of politics, art and education. President Trump has made an outstanding choice in entrusting our school’s future to such a capable and strong leader. As the year ends on her first term of service, we are already seeing more attention brought to our community colleges and the desire to extending federal aid all people.


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