While many people were surprised when President Donald Trump named Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, those living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, knew that the DeVos’ had long supported parents having a right to decide where their children would attend classes regardless of income level. Dick and Betsy had worked tirelessly in a failed attempt to bring free-choice to their state, and they have been instrumental in seeing it adopted in other locations.
Both Dick and Betsy DeVos were born into money. He is the son of the man who founded Amway while she is the daughter of Edgar Prince who was the founder of a company who made sun visors and other interior parts for various car manufacturers. While Dick attended public schools, Betsy attended Holland Christian Academy. The couple both attended private colleges. After having children, the couple’s children attended Grand Rapids Christian Academy.
Invited to a visit at Potter’s House, they discovered that children of all economic levels could benefit from a private education. The couple has used the Betsy and Dick DeVos Family Foundation to support this school for a number of years. They have also been instrumental in funding a school at the Grand Rapids Airport. They also support another school similar to Potter’s House in New York City.
The former candidate for Michigan governor is also credited with making the state a right-to-work state overthrowing the power of unions in his state. Additionally, the couple have taken an active role in revitalizing downtown Grand Rapids. They are instrumental in ArtPrize that covers 19 blocks of the downtown area with artists every fall. They are also instrumental in the construction of a new civic center, a children’s hospital and many businesses.
The couple says that they have tried to use their wealth to influence others around them based on their Christian values passed on to them by their parents. Forbes Magazine has cited them numerous times as one of the most giving families in America. The couple hopes to pass those traits down to their own children, but also through the funding of school choice to children around the United States.
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