I have no more reservations that, indeed, Betsy DeVos is a remarkable politician, a charismatic public personality, and a social reformer with a passion for engaging in charities. I have keenly followed the ways in which she has evolved as an educationist, philanthropist, a politician, public speaker, and a reformist. What I find most admirable about her is the vigor and energy she displays in almost everything she does. Perhaps, it is this exuberant quality that made President Donald J. Trump nominate her the 11th education secretary in the US. I applauded the decision of the US Senate to confirm her appointment on 7th February 2017.
Her dedicated involvement in shaping education policies for over 30 years has been of particular interest to me since I am a direct beneficiary of her advocacy for quality education for all regardless of one’s social background. Her determined representation of hapless parents and sympathy for vulnerable children made it possible for me to acquire first class education without having to pay through my nose! The opportunity her initiatives in providing scholarships and equal access learning created, inspired me in no small measure to find out all I could about this inspiring personality. Some of the amazing things I learned about our new Secretary of Education were that Betsy DeVos’ first most inspiring role model was her mother, who served as a public school teacher. At a very tender age, she discovered that not all children in America had access to quality learning, and seeing the struggles her mother went through to educate her, she developed a keen interest in helping the undeserving. Check this related article from nypost.com.
Betsy Devos quietly assimilated the efforts her townspeople were making to give parents choices for educating their children by increasing opportunities for education, is a feat beyond my comprehension. What I find even more intriguing is the fact that from then till now, she has spearheaded an indefatigable struggle to establish better options for learning in the whole nation. Another thing that surpassed my imagination was the length of time, more than two decades, during which she has sponsored many mentorship programs mostly for children at risk in public schools around Michigan (Grand Rapids). I found it rather striking that the interactions she had with teachers, students, and families in these areas completely altered her life by giving her a new perspective regarding education.
Her other achievements are a great source of inspiration to me. For instance, her present position as secretary, the fight she wages to return education control to local states, and the freedom she intends to give parents to determine the settings which best suit their children. I also admire her for the leadership roles she holds in many charities and non-profits like Kids Hope USA, Mars Hill Bible Church and the Kendall College of Art and Design, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Doesn’t she have it all – an Arts degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a stable marriage to Dick DeVos, and five grandchildren from four children.