Betsy DeVos has been actively involved in politics, business, and philanthropy right from her youthful days. After sharpening her political skills while still in her undergraduate school at Calvin College, she went on to flex her political muscle after college by actively taking part in Republican Party politics. Betsy’s first significant political role came in 1976 as a volunteer voter mobilizer for the then president, Gerald R. Ford. In the 90s, Betsy chaired the Republican Party’s branch in Michigan, her native state, and as a committee member for the party’s national committee. For her entrepreneurial and philanthropic life, Betsy mostly partners with his husband, Dick DeVos. The couple started Windquest Group in 1989, with Betsy serving as its chairperson for several years. Still, in 1989, the two set up the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. Since then, the foundation has been supporting philanthropic programs in education and arts, among several other sectors of the society. Read more news on Los Angeles Times.
During a visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dick and Betsy had a chance to visit Potter’s House Christian School, a school that mostly admits students from underprivileged families within Grand Rapids. The couple spent time with parents in the school, getting first-hand information on what the parents go through in trying to secure a good education for their kids. After understanding the struggle involved, the couple got the urge to do something for the school in an attempt to save the situation. After making several other visits, they discovered individual students who were doing exemplarily well in their studies but whose parents were struggling to maintain them in school. Betsy and Dick started supporting the students, and that became the beginning of a DeVos sponsorship program in the school that runs up to today. In a different philanthropic work in Grand Rapids, the DeVos couple established an aviation charter high school, West Michigan Aviation Academy. The schools enroll kids from low-income families and expose them to basic aviation, with the aim of providing a stepping stone for them to pursue careers in the field in future. Students who graduate from the school have gone ahead to become pilots, airport administrators, and aeronautical engineers.
Betsy DeVos has previously been involved as a board member of the Foundation for Excellence in Education and with American Federation for Children as a chairperson. Through the latter organization, she has been on the front line in the push for reforms in the American education sector. Betsy is a firm believer in an education system that gives parents the freedom of taking charge of their kids’ education, as opposed to tying kids to schools within their zip code that probably fall short of their liking. To this end, Betsy successfully helped millions of kids to join schools chosen for them by their parents. She has also previously facilitated mentorship programs at Kids Hope USA.
Read more about their foundation at dbdvfoundation.org.
The fallout of British imperialism is still being felt in Africa. The incredibly racist British rule introduced many laws that are incredibly punitive. The laws allowed the British occupiers to arrest any dissident that they pleased. This kept the population under the British thumb and allowed their imperialism to perpetuate throughout the continent. Eventually, the world saw this as problematic and the British Empire fell. Unfortunately, many of these punitive petty crimes that the British used to subjugate the population are still on the books.
This allows the governments left in Africa to continue to subjugate their citizens. Take the story of James in Kenya, for example. A well-respected teacher, James was known in the community for having a mental disability. He was an incredibly well-behaved citizen when he took his medication.
Unfortunately, one day James was unable to take his medication. His outlandish actions did not include any real crimes. He would simply dance down the street singing aloud. But the punitive petty crimes on the books allowed the police to arrest him and put him in jail for a long period of time without charge. Under the old British law, James was a “vagabond”. Read more on NYTimes.com.
Another story comes out of Malawi where a 196-year-old law was used against Mayeso Gwanda. He was simply giving up early in the morning to go sell plastic bags at the market. He was assaulted by police who were trying to extort money out of him. When he had no money, they arrested him for being a “rogue”. He also sat in jail for a long period of time without charge.
Fortunately for the world, the Open Society Foundation is fighting these punitive, draconian, Imperial-era laws. The foundation has quite a reach around the world. The Open Society Foundation has plenty of funding coming out of the United States in the form of billions of dollars. The organization itself is more of an umbrella. There are hundreds of nonprofit organizations that fall under this umbrella around the world in more than 100 countries.
The OPS has a very interesting history. It was founded in 1979 by billionaire George Soros. The original intent of the group was to aid citizens of communist countries whose governments had fallen. The organization aims to help those citizens transition into a democratic way of life in order to rid the planet of authoritarian rule.
George Soros still funds the Open Society Foundation. He is now worth more than $25 billion and his war on communism has succeeded. He now fights for the underrepresented and vulnerable all across the world. Soros has given more than $12 billion of his own wealth to this endeavor and continues to pour money into fighting such things as petty crimes in Africa.
Visit his profile on twitter.com
Raj Fernando is a successful entrepreneur who is the founder and the chief executive officer of Scoutahead. Raj Fernando graduated from Beloit College where he achieved bachelor’s degree in economics and history. Raj also studied at the University College London.
Fernando began his career while still pursuing his studies where he worked as a volunteer at Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He worked his way up through various ranks in Chicago Mercantile Exchange and also in Chicago Board of Trade.
In 2002, Raj Fernando started his company known as Chopper Trading. The company began as a small fixed-income trading company but experienced phenomenal growth through its lifetime. In order to remain competitive, raj invested substantial time and resources to innovative technology which resulted to the efficient and most reliable tools for the traders at their disposal.
Chopper Trading began in an office with only four people, under the leadership of Raj Fernando it grew to over 250 employees. The company traded and did business with major foundations such as CME, LSE, ICE, Nasdaq and Eurex among others.
Later in 2006, Raj sold Chopper Trading to DRW which is also a Chicago-based trading firm. Raj then founded Scoutahead the same year. An internet startup company that is designed to improve and transform enterprise communications, professional growth and productivity of the business through an advanced communication system. Raj serves as the chief executive officer of the company.
Raj also features and sits as a board member of various organizations including American Security Project and is also a member of Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He serves on the Foreign Policy Leadership Committee.
Raj is also a philanthropic activist and has supported various charitable events and programs including serving on the board of directors for PAWS Chicago and also I the Board of Trustees at Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Raj actively participates in a no-kill animal shelter program among other programs such as wounded warriors.
Betsy DeVos has been involved with politics since her college years and has continued the theme over the course of her career. She has even served as the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. Her husband Dick DeVos is also quite politically active and had even run for Governor of Michigan but was beat by the incumbent. Dick DeVos is known for his part in the success of the AmWay company which was co-founded by his father. Betsy currently serves as the chairman of the Windquest Group that the couple founded in 1989.
Dick DeVos is also very active with his philanthropy work. He contributes his financial resources to a wide variety of causes. One of the most important issues that the DeVos family advocates is school reform. They firmly believe that every child deserves a quality education regardless of their financial resources. Much of their efforts are concentrated in the Grand Rapids Michigan area.
He has an extensive art collection that he has acquired over the years. He has been known to donate pieces to museums around the country so that others may enjoy the works. Dick donated millions to a museum in Texas for restoration and remodeling. Dick DeVos believes that he should help the world around him because of the large amount of wealth that he has amassed over the years. He has contributed many million of dollars over the years and is continuing to use his money for the greater good of his fellow man. Both Dick and Betsy DeVos make philanthropy a priority in their lives and work to put their money where they feel that it will do the best in the world.
When reading up on philanthropists, I found Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy to be some of the most generous donators in the United States who give money to not only charitable organizations that help the lives of individuals, but also gives money to man community organizations that use the money to not only spur economic growth, but also create a wealthy community. Dick DeVos and Betsy DeVos are a part of the DeVos family, a family that is not only internationally ranked as being one of the wealthiest families in the world, but also a family that built its legacy from the bottom up after the co-founding of Amway Corporation.
Dick DeVos and Betsy DeVos are two individuals who have always felt a strong need to be involved with the community that they know and love. Their philanthropic activities in Michigan eventually became a national activity in donating to several noble charities that promote artistic values, religious values, civic duty, as well as educational reforms. The DeVos family has been found to have donated over $1 billion to noble charities across the country and have plans to continue these many generous donations. Though Betsy DeVos married into the DeVos family, her passion for helping others has always made herself stand on her own two feet.
As a businessman and with over 40 years of expertise of the business industry, Dick DeVos runs his many charitable organizations as he runs his businesses. Not only are these organizations efficient and earn high earnings, but Dick DeVos and his wife take the time out to actually get to know the community and the people that they are helping. These actions and there constant participation with the community is just an example of what sets these philanthropists apart from other prominent and wealthy families in the United States.
Betsy DeVos, like her husband is a reformer that knows much about the past reforms as well as innovative solutions to social reforms for the future of the United States. In recent news, Mrs. DeVos gave a speech to Calvin College to discuss the importance of education in a society and to state that an education is the best way to bring individuals out of poverty and to wipe away any standing social barriers.