It is not often that you find a billionaire who seemingly has it all, then puts everything on the line to serve the public. But that is exactly what Betsy Devos has done throughout her career. Starting back in college, she has been politically active for her entire adult life. Now, her activism takes on a new role as the U.S. Secretary of Education, appointed by President Trump.
She, along with her husband, has given $1 billion to various causes throughout her life. In fact, she donated $90 million in 2013 alone. This went to health, education, arts, community, and faith services. As part of this initiative, she helped reduce skipping school rates by 30% by helping teachers in the classroom.
Then there are the issues of basic needs. Through religious organizations, she has helped people attain access to basic needs. These include special circumstances like needing a driver’s license, getting employment, and even having basic food and shelter. Take Mel Trotter, for example. This woman was homeless and sleeping on the streets. After taking advantage of Devos’s program which she funded, Trotter was able to land employment and even rent an apartment in a little over a month.
Betsy has also been the co-chair of an organization called the Education Freedom Fund. This fund, going all the way back to 1993, doles out scholarships to kids in Michigan. It allows them to attend the schools they choose and earn various degrees. She even matched the Children’s Scholarship fund with $7.5 million of her own money.
And her contribution doesn’t end there. When she chaired “Kids First,” she helped parents use tax vouchers and credits to send their children to special schools. This provided more choice in terms of schooling. Of course, she has not always had a smooth ride. Many of her initiatives to make schools more competitive and give tax dollars back to parents and students has been resisted on the ballot. Now, as the secretary, she may have the opportunity to effect change on a larger scale.
Still the president of the Dick and Betsy Devos Foundation, she assists students with funding and resources to get a business education such as an MBA or MA degree. These scholarships are among others that the Devos family provides in Michigan such as aviation school and more. She has been credited in the community as someone who is able to pull capital together to allow entrepreneurship to benefit the community at large. Time will tell, but the real story of Devos’s actions might just be enough to overcome the smear campaign she is currently going through in the media.
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