Browse Category: Philanthropy

Dick DeVos Stands Out in the Worlds of Charity, Politics, and Business

Mrs. Betsy DeVos, a reformer who has led several campaigns, political action committees, and party organizations, had an interesting chat with Philanthropy. She gave her honest opinion on how the School Choice program and Education Reform Movement was fairing across different cities in the U.S. She stated that students could now acquire quality education through the educational-choice programs across 17 states in addition to the District of Columbia. Betsy said that the relevance of the educational choice program had increased tremendously in Florida, Indiana, and Louisiana. For instance, more than 50,000 students in Florida are pursuing their high school course in an educational choice school of their family’s preference. Betsy advises all politicians, parent, educators, and other stakeholders to approach education issues in an open-minded way.


The life and philanthropic initiatives of Dick DeVos


Dick DeVos is the eldest son of the Amway Corporation’s co-founder, Richard DeVos. He has made himself relevant across different fields and nations. DeVos runs internationally recognized businesses and charitable organizations. Apart from offering political donations, he ran for Michigan’s gubernatorial seat and lost to Jennifer Granholm. He has spent his professional career managing companies such as the Amway International, Windquest Group, and Orlando Magic.


Family and academics


The Grand Rapids, Michigan-born Dick DeVos is an alumnus of the Forest Public school. His father introduced him to the family business when was still a kid. DeVos and Doug (his younger brother) used to interact with guests during annual conventions orchestrated by Amway International. They cleared plates during the conferences and ferried guests to waterski and play tennis. As teenagers, the two brothers had developed the courage of standing before guests and offering product demonstrations. DeVos pursued his business administration program at the Northwood University. Betsy DeVos (his wife) was once the Michigan Republican Party’s chairperson.


Charity work


Dick DeVos leads the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, a renowned organization headquartered in the Grand Rapids region that has donated heavily to civic, community, religious, free-market, and artistic foundations since 1990. Among its beneficiaries are the West Michigan Aviation Academy, ArtPrize Grand Rapids, the West Michigan-based Regional Air Alliance, and the Hugh Michael Beahan Foundation.


DeVos started a public charter high school that focused on aviation (the West Michigan Aviation Academy) in 2010. The idea for launching the school originated from Betsy (his wife) who said that the school would address their passion for education and her husband’s love of flying. The West Michigan Aviation Academy will offer quality education to needy students at no cost.