Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick launched the DeVos Foundation in 1989 to use for their philanthropic activities. They decided that because of the financial blessing they received, they will spend a major part of their lives giving to their community through their Foundation. Betsy has been heavily involved in supporting children’s educational programs. Her goal is to bring quality educational opportunities to children of all economic backgrounds, in the community.
Dick DeVos built the West Michigan Aviation Academy in 2010. This allowed him to combine his enthusiasm for aviation and education. This is a tuition-free public charter school, built at the Gerald Ford International Airport. The curriculum includes all the basic courses, but is designed for students with an interest in aviation, science and math. The school teaches the values of trust, respect, and accountability.
Another charitable organization Betsy and Dick DeVos are involved with is the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. They support research and innovative clinical trials that look for cures of childhood cancers. Dr. James Fahner is the division chief of pediatric hematology and oncology. He is impressed with the hospitals programs of making sure the children treated there are supported by social workers, pharmacists, additional nurses and child life specialists. They make sure they have everything they need to get better.
ArtPrize is a program that for 19 days in the early fall comes to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. It features 1500 different art exhibits from around the world. ArtPrize Education Days brings 15,000 students from the area, to explore, and learn about art. The ArtPrize Labs allows people to become actively involved in the events and programs. Over $500,000 in awards are given out during the program. The program was started in 2009 by Dick and Betsy DeVos along with their son Rick. Check this article from NYPost.
The DeVos family also supports the American Federation for Children, which promotes state wide efforts to provide low and middle income families the ability to send their children to good schools so they get a great education. It promotes the idea that parents can choose the best school for their children, whether public, public charter, private, home schooling or virtual learning. Through voucher programs, tax credit programs educational savings accounts and other methods, the program allows students to gain access to the educational program that best fits their needs.
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