Even while attending Calvin College Elisabeth Prince was heavily involved in campus politics and reforms. Long since married she is now known at Betsy DeVos and serves at the United States Secretary of Education. She has been a fixture in politics for many years including serving as the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. She has also been heavily involved in educational reform opening up school choice for families with young students.
Betsy DeVos, along with her husband Dick, have been lifelong philanthropists. Together they formed the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. They give to a wide range of charities but in particular concentrate on nonprofits involved in education as well as arts and culture. Additionally, they fund nonprofits devoted to building leadership in young people as well as various churches around Michigan. Read more about her philanthropy at MLive.com.
In addition to providing funds to nonprofits, Betsy DeVos has also provided her expertise and leadership by serving on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations. In the past, she has served on the boards of nonprofits such as Kids Hope USA, the Kennedy Center, Mars Hill Bible Church. As a leader in the school choice reform movement she has also chaired boards for both the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation of Children.
Betsy DeVos has said that she sees public schools failing in their mission to educate children. Due to this she supports parents being able to send their children to alternative schools such as privately operated charter schools. She says these charter schools provide a much better and more nurturing environment for children where they receive a much higher quality education. In order to help lower and middle-class families pay for these schools she advocates for educational reforms such as tax credits and educational vouchers.
When Betsy DeVos was the Chairman of the American Federation of Children she was a national advocate for school choice. Due in no small part to her efforts there are now more than one million children in the United States who are attending a private school that their parents chose for them. This is especially helpful in zip codes dominated by families with lower incomes as a direct correlation of this is underfunded and failing school districts. Read her interview with Philanthropy Table
Betsy DeVos encouraged Dick to found a public charter school in Michigan called the West Michigan Aviation Academy. This school teaches high school students in the skills that are needed to join the airline industry. They have graduated people with the skills to become mechanics as well as those who have acquired their pilot’s licenses. Others have entered the industry in other ways such as building planes and others are now attending a university with the hopes of becoming an airplane engineer.