How Dick Devos and His Wife Became Leaders In Education

Dick Devos is a major philanthropist and donor to the Republican Party, but his philanthropy does not end there. He and his wife Betsy gave more than one hundred and thirty eight million dollars to causes such as arts, culture, human and health services, leadership programs, and so on. They also gave twelve and a half million dollars to a children’s hospital that was named after Dick Devos’ mother, Helen. This turned out to be a great help to the residents of Grand Rapids and Michigan in general, who no longer had to drive a long way to the Mayo Clinic or other institutions in order to find a place where their children could get the medical care that they needed.

 

Both Dick and Betsy have also focused a great deal of their philanthropy and activism on school choice programs. They believe that children should have more opportunities to get a solid education. Although they did not succeed in getting a school choice program passed in Michigan, they did not give up and changed their strategy, deciding to focus on other states. They succeeded many states, and now twenty four states have some sort of school choice program. In an interview, Betsy said that support for school choice programs is gaining momentum. Betsy Devos’ support for education reform turned out to be the reason Donald Trump nominated her for Education Secretary.

 

Dick Devos has also done a great deal in the aviation industry. He is the one who helped put the Grand Rapids Airport on the map by working on deals to bring more flights from more companies to the airport.

 

Another thing that he did was start the West Michigan Aviation Academy a public charter school that focuses on giving flying lessons to aspiring pilots. However, the school also gives classes on all sorts of subjects, including math, reading, writing, and so on. There is also a focus on engineering and computer science. This way, students can do what they love while getting a solid education at the same time. The average SAT score was among the top ten in the country and above the statewide average. There were three graduation classes so far.

 

West Michigan Aviation Academy is unique and does not really have an equal. That is the beauty of charter schools. They can find their own unique niche. Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/DickDeVosII

Alice