A philanthropist is someone who has given of their time and/or money in a desire to help promote the welfare of others. One person that comes to mind when I think of great contributors is Betsy Devos. I learned about Mrs. Devos as a young mother when my kids became school aged. I’ve always read and studied who was contributing to change with their generosity, so naturally my curiosity in philanthropy sent me on a quest to see who was making an effort to affect change in education one of the most important building blocks for children.
Betsy Devos was born in Holland Michigan, in 1958. Her mother was a public school teacher which might have been a contributing factor to her early interest in Education. Mrs. Devos earned her bachelor of Arts degreee from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is married to Dick Devos a successful business owner and community activist. She has been involved in many charity works but there were three in particular that caught my attention: Potter House Christian School, Children First America an
d American Federation for Children.
Potter House Christian School is a school that was funded in 1981 by a young group of college graduates. Betsy Devos visited this school when her kids became school-aged. She continued to visit and learn about the culture of the school and the kids that attended there. After a few visits Betsy Devos decided to financially support individual students in a effort to ease the burden of those parents who sent their kids there even though the tuition payments were a great sacrifice for their mid-income house hold budgets. Her contribution grew overtime and she now supports the school on a significant level.
Children First America
Children First America funds 88 programs across the United States to enable low-income youth to attend private schools and religious schools. This is paramount to giving children and parents of limited resources more choices. During the 1990s Mrs.Devos served on the board of this organization.
American Federation for Children
American Federation for Children is focused on breaking boundaries regardless of where you may reside. For years America has been following zone schooling which is a system that might have worked well in the past but can benefit from been upgraded. AFC focuses on allowing children to attend a quality school, in a zip code other than theirs. Mrs. Devos also served on the board on this institution. Read her interview with Philanthropy Table
Betsy Devos is what I like to refer to as a philanthropist with a reformist heart. She is not only a huge financial contributor in our society but also a person seeking change within one of the most important building blocks of society and our American legacy, education.