According to an article in Crain’s, Dick and Betsy DeVos have been instrumental in changing the face of Michigan through the Betsy and Dick DeVos Foundation. Dick served more than eight years as president of Amway, a company that his father founded. The couple has aligned much of their giving with their faith.
The couple has long supported Potter’s House. The couple credit this program which equips children with a Christ-centered education as serving as a catalyst for their interest in school vouchers. This organization serving children of all income levels operates an elementary school and middle school in Wyoming, Michigan, and a high school in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The couple has also donated through their foundation to Loudspeaker Media Inc. operated by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown. This organization seeks to spread journalistic stories about the American education system to the American mainstream media. The couple has also donated to The Partnership for Educational Justice operated by Brown. This organization works to promote public policy changes across the United States.
The couple has also donated to Success Academy Charter Schools. This New York City charter school provides students with only 80 minutes of daily teacher-upfront time while attempting to give each student time and space to learn on their own.
Unlike his wife, Dick DeVos is a graduate of the public school system. The couple, however, educated their children in the Grand Rapids Christian School system. Dick is a graduate of Northwood University.
Dick served two years on the Michigan Board of Education before resigning because of demands with his Amway Corporation. In 2000, he and his wife supported a failed ballot initiative to give school vouchers in Michigan. Six years later he ran for governor but lost the race. He is cited as being instrumental in making Michigan a Right to Work state. President Trump has cited DeVos’ efforts to pass school reform as one of the reasons for appointing Betsy as Secretary of Education.
Dick is also credited with transforming downtown Grand Rapids along with help from John Canepa and David Frey. Unlike many Michigan cities, this community has a completely renovated downtown area including the DeVos Place Convention Center. The trio was also instrumental in bringing a children’s hospital to town that is named after Dick’s mother.
To learn more, visit http://dickdevos.com/.