When I think of the DeVos family name I am usually struck by the billions of dollars the family has made as the leaders of the AmWay Group, but in recent years the impressive nature of the education reform work completed by Betsy DeVos has taken center stage in my understanding of the family. In February 2017, I was pleased to see the years of commitment and hard work Mrs. DeVos has put into the education reform movement had finally come to fruition with her appointment to the position of Secretary of Education by President Donald Trump; the appointment of Betsy DeVos was seen by myself as a positive move for those of us who feel the U.S. public school system has been failing our children at an alarming rate for decades.
I have usually viewed the work of Betsy DeVos solely in terms of the education reform activist movement which has been making sweeping changes to the U.S. public school system across more than 15 states. What has always impressed me is the willingness of Secretary DeVos to provide as much support for the different areas of the country where charter schools and school choice programs have been instigated at the behest of the Michigan native and her fellow reformers. A good example of the philanthropic work completed by Betsy DeVos was seen in Louisiana, a state adopting school vouchers and school choice programs where parents and guardians faced the issue of a public school department unwilling to publicize the programs. I was pleased to see Betsy DeVos and her supporters step into the fray when school administrators remained tight-lipped about the latest programs; alongside her fellow reformers, Betsy DeVos organised meetings and radio ads to provide information about the introduction of the school choice and voucher programs and assist parents in making an educated and informed decision about the education of their children.
The philanthropic work of Betsy DeVos has always impressed me, particularly the work completed by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation which now includes charitable programs chosen by the children of the couple. Over the course of her life, Betsy DeVos has worked in many different positions from her role as an in-school advocate for at-risk children in Michigan public schools to take a seat on the board of the Kennedy Center for the Arts at the request of President George W. Bush. Among the philanthropic endeavors undertaken by Betsy DeVos has been Project Clarity, a program to clean up the water at Lake Macatawa and the establishment of the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Despite the good causes backed by Betsy DeVos, I always think of her work as an education reformer first and foremost where she has made her biggest impact as a philanthropist and activist.
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