As the leader of Amway, Betsy DeVos has a lot of business experience. She is the head of the privately held Windquest group that invests in technology, manufacturing and other sectors. The company has become a leader in green energy since its founding.
Former Leader of the Education for Excellence in Education
Until recently, Betsy has served as the head of Foundation for Excellence in Education. This group has been instrumental in working with legislators across the United States to promote free choice in education.
Betsy and Dick DeVos Foundation
Betsy DeVos and her husband created the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. In 2015, the foundation gave away more than $10 million dollars. Most is spent on promoting free choice in education.
The largest grant that the foundation awarded in 2015 was to the Xprize Foundation who gives prize money to people regardless of their location who come up with innovative solutions to problems. The goal is to provide funding for ideas that generate changes in industry that is achievable by a small team.
Support for Private Schools
The foundation gave away $400,000 to help found Loudspeaker Media Inc. run by Campbell Brown. The organization gave the same amount of money to The Partnership for Educational Justice. Both organizations have been instrumental in the fight to give parents free choice in education with a particular emphasis on districts where public schools are failing.
Interest in Free Choice in Education
The couple’s interest in free choice in education began at Potter House Schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When their children were little, the couple visited this private school serving many underprivileged children. Betsy credits their visit to the school with showing her what free choice in education could do for the future of our nation. Ever since, the couple has donated time and money to this school. In 2015, the foundation gave them $200,000.
Support for Private Schools
Under the foundation, the couple also gave $150,000 to New York’s Success Academy Charter Schools with a pledge to give another $150,000 at a future date. The foundation also approved grants to Grand Rapids Christian School, Association, Ada Christian School Society Rehoboth Christian School Association and Christian Schools International.
Several conservative colleges also received money from the foundation. They include:
- Davenport University
- Ferris State University
- Rollins College
- Calvin College
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Grand Rapids Community College
- Wake Forest University
- Cornell University
- University of Michigan
Always a lover of the arts, Betsy was instrumental in getting the ArtPrize started in Grand Rapids, and the foundation still supports this cause. She has also served on the foundation supporting the Kennedy Art Center.