Dick DeVos became increasingly committed to supporting parents of school-going kids just like he had children attending school. The beneficiaries of this program were specifically low-income earning parents, in order to empower them to choose schools for their kids within the state.
He pursued this commitment by running for the State Board of Education in Michigan in 1990 and got elected. Dick went ahead to found a foundation that would give scholarships to low-income families. These initiatives ensured that kids would get the education that they deserved in the schools of their parents’ choices.
Early Life and Entrepreneurship
Dick DeVos Jr was born on October 21st in 1955 to Amway’s founder Richard DeVos. As an author and a businessman, Dick served at Amway from 1993 to 2002 as the company’s CEO in the department of consumer goods distribution. His father was listed by Forbes in 2012 as the 67th richest man in the United States of America.
He held various positions in Amway in 1974 serving in the company’s research, marketing, sales, and finance departments. He rose to become the company’s vice president in 1984, managing operations in more than 18 different countries. Sales were tripled under his leadership and numerous markets opened internationally.
Dick DeVos Philanthropy
Dick serves as the President of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, founded in Grand Rapids. The foundation has since its commissioning donated millions of dollars to educational, community, artistic, civic, religious and free-market organizations.
The foundation receives grantees from West Michigan Aviation Academy, Regional Air Alliance, Mars Hill Bible Church, Kids Hope USA, Education Freedom Fund, and Willow Creek Association among many others.
DeVos opened the first Aviation Academy in Michigan as the country’s first public aviation charter high school. The school’s location was identified as the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, making the community increasingly popular for producing aviators.
Funding Education through School Vouchers
Dick DeVos served as the co-chair for the Kids First campaign in 2000, sponsoring a state-wide referendum initiative that would lead to the amendment of the Michigan Constitution in order to allow the use of vouchers and tax cuts for private students in K-12 Educational level.
The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation have consistently given donor support to other interest groups like Children First America, American Education Reform Council and the Choices for Children. They have also funded the Christian Schools in West Michigan areas.
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