How Dick Devos Builds Up Communities

Dick and Betsy Devos have spent their entire lives trying to bring about changes for the better in society. For example, they have worked hard to promote more choices in the education system. They have lobbied for more tax voucher programs to help private and charter schools, which would provide more children with the opportunity to study in a setting where they are comfortable in. Dick, with Betsy’s support, also started his own charter school, called the West Michigan Aviation Academy. This charter school helps young people study to become pilots. It has grown from a small school with just a few dozen students to a large and successful school with hundreds of students who come in from various regions, besides those who live in Grand Rapids.

 

Dick has always been a community leader who is dedicated to making sure that his community continues to grow. Take the multipurpose sports center that was planned in Grand Rapids, for example. Dick was then the CEO of Amway, but he realized right away that it would have a devastating effect on the city, similar to the effect a similar center had in Detroit. He immediately started making phone calls to his contacts to try to lobby to stop the center from going up.

 

Dick and Betsy Devos have been recognized for their work. Betsy Devos was nominated by President Donald Trump to be the Education Secretary, and she was later confirmed by Congress. Dick Devos was picked to be one of the few civilians to sit on the panel that overlooks the Federal Aviation Administration. Dick Devos, besides heading the West Michigan Aviation Academy, is a pilot and an aviation geek himself. He was instrumental in contributing to the growth of Gerald Ford Airport, and he was tasked with bringing Southwest Airlines to the Grand Rapids Airport.

 

The West Michigan Aviation Academy originally operated out of a small office at the Gerald Ford Airport, though it has since grown tremendously and moved to its own building. The school is tuition-free. It gets support from some government programs, but also from large contributions that Dick and Betsy make towards the school. Dick and Betsy have helped various other charter schools become tuition-free. Their goal is to help as many private and charter schools as they can, in Michigan and in other states.

 

To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.

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