Betsy DeVos’ Inspiring Commitment to Education Reforms

Betsy DeVos’ name is synonymous to education reforms. The wife of Dick DeVos is the chair of the “Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation”. Betsy accomplishes most of her philanthropic activities through this foundation.

Mrs. DeVos’ Opinion on School Choice

One of the biggest contributions that Mrs. DeVos has made to the education sector is to champion the philosophy of school choice. Currently, the number of parents who have taken their children to educational-choice programs has increased. Many people have come to see the ineffectiveness of the traditional schooling system and are accepting reforms such as vouchers, education savings accounts, and tax credits.DeVos’s involvement in education reforms was sparked through a personal experience. Mrs. DeVos happened to visit a school in Grand Rapids, the “Potter’s House Christian School”. During her visit she encountered parents who were struggling to raise fees for their children to study at this safe and convenient institution. Mrs. DeVos’ heart went out to these parents who had no choice but to enroll their children to a school that their meager earnings could afford to pay. Immediately, Betsy and her husband Dick started supporting children at the school. They started by supporting a few students and this escalated to larger contributions for a huge number of students.Their commitment to education reform did not end with their philanthropic work at Potter’s House. In 1990, Dick DeVos was elected to the “State Board of Education”. On the other hand, Mrs. DeVos had established a foundation for providing scholarships to low-income parents. The foundation enabled parents to school their children in the best educational institutions. Since this program was only accessible to a few, the DeVoses wanted to make a nationwide impact and this is why they begun embarking on education reforms.According to Betsy DeVos, one of her biggest successes has been in Florida. The state has a tax-credit scholarship program that has been adopted by over 50,000 students. Florida has the longest history of enforcing educational choice among all the states in the U.S.

Betsy DeVos’ Work Profile

Betsy DeVos was recently appointed as the secretary of education in Trump’s administration. Prior to her appointment, Mrs. DeVos had been an active disruptor, advocate, and leader. Betsy is distinguished for her role in politics, business, and education. She has participated in politics for more than three decades, more the reason why her contributions to Republican candidates had to be scrutinized before her appointment.Mrs. DeVos has served, on four occasions, as chairman of the “Michigan Republican Party”. She also used to be the chair of the “American Federation for Children”, and the “Philanthropy Roundtable”. Mrs. DeVos has also served in several boards including the “Art Prize”, “DeVos Institute for Arts Management” and the “American Enterprise Institute”. Betsy studied at the Holland Christian High School and completed her art studies at Michigan’s Calvin College.

Visit her social media page on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/betsy.p.devos/

Discussing Female Identity at Success Academy

 

Success Academy Charter Schools is a a free public charter school network in New York City. It is open to all residents of New York State, and attendance is determined by lottery. Seventy-six percent of the children who attend Success Academy live in low income households. About Ninety-three percent of the children who attend Success Academy are children of color.

 

There are many unique issues that face people of color throughout their lives, from birth to adulthood. These issues consist of a complex mixtures of inequality, disrespect, stereotypes, discrimination and alienation on many different levels. These issues affect children of color in a large variety of ways. This is an important issue that Success Academy takes into consideration, since 93% of its student body consists of children of color. Being female also comes with it’s own unique experiences, issues and struggles.

 

Success Academy Crown Heights has taken on these issues by offering a Girl’s Group club. It was started in 2014 by Cole Yaverbaum, a special education teacher who had started teaching second graders. The Girls’ Group takes place on Wednesday afternoons. Girls sit in a circle on a rug, eat lunch and talk about how their days went. After chatting and eating lunch, certain pre-planned topics are spoken about. For example the girls may have a discussion about what stereotypes are, and give examples of stereotypes. These discussions are meant to invoke critical thinking about personal identity, female empowerment and how the media depicts girls. The Girls’ Club provides a safe space for girls where they can share experiences, take interest in relevant social topics and form strong, confident, secure identities as women in general, as well as women of color. Any girl of any background can join the club, but the majority of children who go to Success Academy are people of color, and in the picture of the Girls’ Club, every girl is a child of color. So having a space space like this is an advantage to take on issues specifically pertaining to being girls of color—not just being girls or being people of color.

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