Whether she’s facing off with opponents in the political or the business ring, Betsy DeVos is a fighter. She never backs down, and on the rare occasion when she doesn’t win she turns to bout into a learning experience to prepare for the next round. Whatever she can take from one defeat becomes a powerful tool to be used in the next battle.
Elizabeth “Betsy” DeVos has a passion for education. Specifically, she is on a mission to see education expanded and improved for the benefit of children everywhere. She has vowed not to stop until she sees quality educational opportunities made available to all children regardless of financial status, location, or any other demographic barriers. Growing up, Betsy herself attended private schools. She was raised in a wealthy family in Holland, Michigan. Her father, Edgar Prince, was the founder of a billion-dollar auto parts business. As a young girl, Betsy often worked alongside her father in the family business.
Rather than leaving her with an attitude of privilege, Betsy’s upbringing taught her to be appreciative of her advantages and compassionate toward others who did not have the same educational opportunities. She found several ways to become involved with causes and organizations whose focus was on improving and expanding the availability of quality education for children everywhere. Her focus remained steadfast even after she married and had a family of her own. She became a devoted proponent of providing all families with improved options and choices for their children’s educations.
For more than three decades Betsy DeVos has petitioned to see tax dollars used to provide not only for the needs of public school students but for those who attend charter schools as well. Although such educational academies receive their funds from public monies, they are overseen and run by private entities outside of the normal public school framework. DeVos also focuses on attempts to have the funds that are lotted to public schools to also cover vouchers for tuition costs for private schools, religious academies included.
Betsy DeVos doesn’t just spearhead these causes, she herself has provided financial and other types of support to schools run by for-profit companies. She is outspoken in regard to the performance standards set by these schools. Her efforts have paid off: Detroit, Michigan is now home to the largest number of charter schools in the country. Through everything she has accomplished, DeVos has had to deal with a great deal of controversy and harassment by the press. She has come out as being in favor of specific officials in schools carrying guns to protect students and staff in the event of an active shooter situation. Her stance on the issue was not a popular one. DeVos made a comment on the topic which was met with extreme derision, especially after she tried to downplay the situation by calling her comment “a joke”. She quipped that the guns inside schools could be used to protect against “grizzly bears”, a thinly veiled reference to some of her political opponents on the subject. The media went into full attack mode, labeling DeVos “ignorant”. In true DeVos fashion, Betsy turned the situation to her favor. Recognizing that any press could be used to her benefit, DeVos laughed off the contrived outrage and media theatrics by saying, “The media has had it’s fun with me, and that’s ok.”
DeVos continues to work in both politics and in the business world to further the cause of better quality education for young people.
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