Filed in Politics

Dick Devos who by early 1990s was angling to become the Chief Executive Officer in his family’s Amway Corporation started opposing plans to build a multi-purpose arena in Grand Rapids. His main worry is that the arena which was to be built uptown would be disadvantageous to the downtown Grand Rapids. His opposition campaign finally materialized to the rise of moneyed business leaders who initiated the construction activities of several areas, schools, social facilities and amenities within the town. All these activities greatly contributed to a change in town-Grand Rapids.

In much of their adulthood, the Devo’s family has spent time trying to come up with new progressive ideas that are responsible for running institutions. As very influential financiers and ones with deep political connections, their ideas have led to major changes in laws mostly affecting labor and education activities. In education, they successfully advocated for an expansion of schools with charters while in labor they successfully converted Michigan to a state where being a member of the union is no longer a requirement for one to get a job.

Not only was this influence in their hometown but also beyond the conservative political issues that they are well known to support. They are also well known for charity activities to social places, spiritual centers, schools, and many other places and events. Their generosity is well known since they make leading donations in some charity centers.

One of such centers that they have supported is a children’s hospital which has helped utilize on time since parents do not have to take their kids to hospital for them to receive medical care. In the education sector, Dick Devos founded a high school at an airport whose policy is to ensure that children from disadvantaged communities are exposed to the same opportunities and facilities that children from affluent communities have. Such philanthropic activities have been lauded as very progressive in efforts of ensuring an equal society.

In all these efforts by the Devos family, not all have been accepted by the general public. In early the 20th century, a constitutional amendment sponsored by the family to fund students to attend privately owned schools from government coffers was blatantly not supported by the majority of citizens. Years later, Dick Devos was on the receiving end after voters once more rejected him while seeking for a governorship position.

One key admirable quality of the Devos family is their resilience. Giving up has never been an option, and this made them shift their campaigns of advocating for school vouchers for private schools to other states within the country. More than 20 states currently own private school vouchers. They aim to consistently and continually make it possible for the parents and students to have more choices.

Betsy Devos principles and exposure in fighting and advocating for improved education standards for all, both the poor and affluent led her to be appointed as a United States Secretary of Education. This she was confirmed by the Senate.


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