Dick DeVos’ Philanthropy Work to Support Education in the U.S.

Dick DeVos is one of the most successful businessmen in the state of Michigan. At the beginning of 2017, Mr. DeVos was interviewed on MLive to shed more light on his family’s involvement in philanthropic initiatives around the country. Since his family started engaging in philanthropic activities, it is believed they have contributed nearly $139 million. For many years, Dick DeVos has been in the frontline to support Republic Politicians in Michigan and other states. However, large portion of his family’s contributions are channeled to projects that positively impact the lives of communities, and particularly the poor families. He has actively funded various educational causes to help less fortunate students through educational choice initiative.

 

Supporting Kids from Low Income Families

 

For close to 30 years now, the family of Dick DeVos has contributed million of dollars to charitable organizations that advance the need for reforms within the education sector. For instance, the family gave out over $11 million in 2015, where more than $3 million was directed to educational programs. This is a revelation that education is given priority compared to other programs. In addition, another fund was created to support charitable organizations that engaged in supporting various education programs. Dick believes the government led education system was misused to zone certain areas, such that parents from those areas cannot send their kids to certain schools. This was the main reason why Dick & Betsy began looking for ways to change that setup. Although the process was challenging, they have made significant progress, where today, 25 states have passed the necessary laws to allow creation of charter schools in their respective jurisdictions.

 

About West Michigan Aviation Academy

 

Five years ago, Dick & Betsy DeVos launched an aviation charter high school at Gerald R. Ford International Airport’s ground. In 2016, the school graduated a class of 15 licensed and fully trained pilots. The school admits students from Grand Rapids and other neighboring counties, some of them commuting a distance of over one hour to reach the school. The graduation rate for the first class was 86%. During the annual fundraising ceremony for the school, high profile individuals and speakers like George W. Bush are invited.

 

Professional Life of Dick DeVos

 

Dick DeVos has served as the President of Orlando Magic, Amway and currently he is serving at The Windquest Group. After joining Amway in 1974, Dick held different positions until he became the President in 1993 until 2002. Prior to that, he served as the President of Orland Magic, after his family bought the NBA club. In 2006, Dick tried unsuccessfully to vie for Michigan’s governorship position. Currently, Mr. DeVos is one of the executives of The Windquest.