Elisabeth Dee DeVos – Betsy as she is so warmly known, is a tireless philanthropist and advocate for American Education. Born Elisabeth Prince, she was raised in Holland, Michigan where she was educated at Holland Christian High School and later graduated from Calvin College. She is of Dutch ancestry; her family surname originally “Prins.” She is the mother of four grown children, a woman of faith, and a proud member of the Republican party and the current United States Secretary of Education.
Elisabeth grew up with excellent opportunities, her family was one of the wealthiest in the United States. Her experiences in education gave her a deep sense of compassion and desire that all people should have the same chance at higher education so that they may achieve their highest potential in life, no matter their wealth or status. This has driven much of her philanthropic work. She is a member of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and with her husband Dick DeVos, founded the Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholars for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship which provides annual scholarships to students. Betsy co-Chairs the Family Foundation with husband Dick. The foundation supports “organizations and programs that focus on community, education, the arts, justice, and leadership.”
Her philanthropy doesn’t end with education and leadership. She co-Chair’s the Windquest Group, which invests in clean energy, manufacturing, and technology. Betsy DeVos is passionate about America, funding such entities as health care, leadership institutes, the Arts, and think tanks. Besty and her husband are also patrons of the West Michigan Aviation Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
It is both refreshing and exciting to see an appointment to high office who not only puts their words into critical causes but their wealth investment. Betsy is known to bring all of her heart and its passion along and is steadfast when confronted with challenge. The DeVos family philanthropy is one of the biggest in the country. Forbes reports that the DeVos family’s lifetime giving is thus far at an estimate of $1.33 billion, approximately a quarter of their estimated $5.2 billion worth. The DeVos family is 24th on the list of America’s top charitable givers.
America has always been driven by innovators and visionaries. It will be interesting to watch Betsy DeVos’s passion for education push forward a stagnant system in dire need of repair and momentum. Dear Madam Secretary, the stage is yours.
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