Betsy DeVos currently chairs the AFC (American Federation for Children). The organization has been actively involved in the fight for a reform of America’s broken education system by allowing parents to have more choices on where they want to take their children. It is one of the country’s top school choice advocacy groups and has led a million kids to schools that have the ability to cater for their needs. It has also helped children not to be forced to move to a school within their ZIP codes.
Since Betsy’s husband, Dick DeVos, is a pilot, she encouraged him to start a charter high school that would combine his love for flying and education. She succeeded, and Dick started the West Michigan Aviation Academy situated in Grand Rapids at the Gerald Ford Airport. Other schools that they have supported include Rehoboth Christian School, Detroit Charter School, and Company New Urban Learning among others.
Betsy DeVos is a well-known reformer. Her involvement in politics started more than 30 years ago when she was still studying at Calvin College. Afterward, DeVos served as a volunteer in 1976 for President Gerald R. Ford. Since then she has held leadership roles in many Republican Party organizations, campaigns and political action committees. Most of them concentrated on reform and education choice. She has worked for the Michigan Republican Party as its chairman from 1996 to 2005 and also on the Republican National Committee from 1992 to 1998.
Betsy and Dick are entrepreneurs and philanthropists too. They founded Windquest Group in 1989. The private firm invests in manufacturing, technology, and clean energy. They also founded the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation which has been involved in numerous charitable interests over the years. Betsy mentors children through Kids Hope USA which is an organization that links adults with at-risk elementary students for about an hour every week.
Under Betsy’s leadership, the American Federation for Children has taken significant steps in the fight against the flaws of the traditional education system. The organization’s tax-credit scholarship program has seen over 50,000 kids in Florida alone to attend the schools that their guardians have chosen for them. Other states that have been improvements in this area are Louisiana and Indiana. 14 other states have publicly-funded, private choice programs and in the Country, there are about a quarter of a million children that enjoy the benefits of this program. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.
Betsy’s decision to join the reform program goes way back in the 90’s where they used to visit Potter’s House Christian School which served many low-income families. It was there that they saw the struggles of the parents and decided to do something about the issue. Since then, most of their efforts have borne fruit. Read more news on Los Angeles Times.