Betsy DeVos is a well-known education activist, philanthropist, and businesswoman. She grew up in Michigan where she went to Holland Christian High School and received her undergraduate degree from Calvin College. Betsy was brought up in a religious household and is still active in the Mars Hall Bible Church in Grand Rapids. Belonging to one of the wealthiest families in the state, Betsy is married to Dick DeVos, heir to Amway. Her family has been major donors to both political campaigns and social causes. Betsy served as a local precinct delegate of the Republican Party in Michigan in 1982 and as a Republican National Committeewoman for the state from 1992 to 1997. From 1996 to 2000, the Michigan Republican Party elected her chairwoman. She personally raised over $150,000 for Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004, helping add to the amazing $17 million total donated to politics from the DeVos family since 1989.
Betsy has spent her life dedicated to various causes. Alongside her husband, they founded the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1989. This foundation is motivated by faith and focuses on cultivating leadership and transformation by supporting organizations that focus on community, arts, justice, leadership, and education. The DeVos Foundation donated an estimated $11.6 million in 2015 alone. The couple’s charitable giving has been totaled to be over $139 million over their lifetimes, placing them 24th on Forbes’ list “America’s Top Givers.” In 2004, Betsy was appointed to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ board of directors by President Bush, where she served until 2010. While there, she helped fund a center that teaches boards of directors and arts managers how to properly fund-raise and manage their institutions. In 2010, Betsy and her husband donated a cool $22.5 million to help continue that endeavor, which was rightfully renamed the DeVos Institute of Arts Managements.
DeVos has always been an activist in the education field. She believes that the country should be open to for-profit charter schools, allowing parents an increased choice. Betsy DeVos is also a fierce advocate of school vouchers that would allow students to attend private schools using public funding. She has led the All Children Matter PAC and has served as chairwoman of the board of Alliance for School Choice. The All Children Matter PAC promotes school vouchers and tax credits to businesses that donate private school scholarships. She has been a member of the board of directors for the Education Freedom Fund, the Advocates for School Choice, and the American Education Reform Council. She has been chairwoman at the Great Lakes Education Project and Choices for Children. She also leads the American Federation for Children, an organization that advocates for school vouchers and tax credits, promoting school choice. Follow Betsy on Twitter.