In an interview with MLive, generous philanthropists Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy DeVos revealed that they have a genuine interest in helping school going kids achieve their dreams. They explained that because of the current civil setup, kids who grow up in some ZIP codes are not able to manifest their educational goals in the American system. The couple aims to challenge the American education system that applies to all schools equally despite the varied locations. They clarified that the problem is not with the school’s employees, who work smart and diligently to support every child. Dick and Betsy believe that with the right funding, schools will be able to reach more kids and provide a more simple educational system that fits every ZIP code.
Apart from Dick and Betsy, The DeVos family is actively involved in supporting the reform of the school system by funding worthy candidates in Republican parties and supporting individual schools. In 2015, the entire family had cumulative contributions of $11.6 million, 3 of which supported educational courses. DeVos’ eldest son and his family contributed 104 million to educational campaigns, ranking number 24 on Forbes’ list of Americas Top Givers.
Some of the couple’s recipients of contributions include the Compass College of Cinematic Arts, Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning, Ferris State University, Northwood University in Midland, Potter’s House in Wyoming, West Michigan Aviation Academy, Grand Rapids Christian School and Rehoboth Christian School. In 2011, the couple started America’s first aviation charter school in Gerald R. Ford International Airport for Michigan Aviation Academy. They also write the school’s annual checks on a regular basis such as the 2013 check of $315,000 and donate airplanes and support financially challenged students who are 40 percent in total. In 2015, Michigan Aviation Academy graduated 15 qualified pilots and maintained an 86 percent graduation rate. Other fields of interest by the couple include health, leadership, and development, public policy, sanitary and human services, civic, and churches. They have previously donated to the Willow Creek church in an attempt to foster leadership in the community and Spectrum Health Foundation to fund the research of neuroblastoma.
Dick DeVos is currently the secretary of education in the United States. He is the chief executive officer of Windquest Group, a company that specializes in manufacturing, technology, and other industries. Previously, he was a council on the Michigan State Board of Education. His other professional involvements include serving at Amway as president and Orlando Magic as the owner. He attended the Forest Hills public school and is an alumnus of Northwood University with a Bachelor in Business Administration. He has doctorates from Northwood University, Central Michigan University, and Grove City College.