Role Models in Education: Betsy DeVos
The Trump Administration has brought an incredible number of business, philanthropic, and political personalities to the forefront of American attention. Of particular importance, at least for me, is the increasing number of powerful and successful women who’ve been granted a well-earned domestic and international spotlight. One such luminary who has since taken center stage is Betsy DeVos, the currently serving Secretary of Education.While it’s her current government position that made Betsy a household name, Mrs. DeVos has a long, impressive career reaching back 30 years.DeVos’ success comes as no surprise to those family with her family background, as her father, auto industry magnate Edgar Prince began her lineage’s profound commitment to philanthropic and charitable endeavors, with his generous, lifelong support of the Family Research Council.Mrs. DeVos continued to elevate this tradition early on in her career, first taking a key role in supporting Grand Rapids’ Potter’s House Christian School. Mrs. DeVos’ experiences here, where she had the opportunity to interact with and support low-income families, cemented her lifelong commitment to expanding and improving education throughout the country.
Betsy DeVos has a history of taking a practical, hands-on approach to education, acting as a mentor to at-risk youth in the Grand Rapids education system for the past 15 years. DeVos’ own mother was a school teacher, and it’s clear that this legacy has greatly informed Mrs. DeVos in her role as Secretary of Education. Her role as chair for the American Federation for Children, an organization dedicated to improving private education options for student throughout the country, demonstrates Betsy DeVos’ deep understanding of the flaws present in the American education system and offers the necessary perspective and tools to address the situation.Interestingly, Mrs. DeVos’ background is quite diverse, with the accomplished businesswoman, educator, and philanthropist proving her leadership skills countless times over. She served with distinction as chairwoman of the WindQuest Group, an innovative and successful firm dedicated to facilitating investment management and other enterprises.
True to her philanthropic roots, Betsy offered her sound leadership and experience to many notable civic orders, educational institutions, and charitable organizations, including Kids Hope USA, Kendall College of Art and Design, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and ArtPrize, just to name a few of the organizations that succeeded in no small part due to her guidance.Regardless of my own political inclinations, Betsy DeVos is exactly the sort of talented, committed expert suited to bridge the left/right divide with her hands-on style of leadership and wealth of experience. Her diverse background makes her uniquely suited to the varying demands of the country’s Secretary of Education, and gives hope to young women who otherwise still view business and politics as a men’s game. Betsy’s story is one of generosity and success, and an inspiration to young Americans of all walks.