Betsy DeVos is perhaps best known for her recent appointment to the presidential cabinet as the Secretary of Education under U.S. President, Donald J. Trump, however, she also has a extensive body of work as a philanthropist as well as advocate for educational reform. Ms. DeVos first began her philanthropic ventures when she and her husband, Dick DeVos, first visited the Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids which had itself a very long and storied history of serving the impoverished members of the school’s surrounding community. Ms. DeVos states in a recent interview with the website, Philanthropy Roundtable, that she was extremely moved by the stories of the parents of the children who attended the school, who informed her how hard it was for them to find safe and considerate schools who would actually focus on important curricula.
Betsy DeVos returned numerous times to the Potter’s House Christian School and realized that, due to their substantial wealth, the DeVos family could send their children to basically any school or schools that they wanted – however, the parents whom they encountered were far less fortunate. It was this realization that prompted Ms. DeVos to begin supporting the school, a venture which would snowball into a myriad of other education driven endeavors. Check her website for more info at betsydevos.com.
From this point Ms. DeVos and her husband began funding a series of various different scholarships to help less fortunate parents obtain more school choice for their children, however, one of the problems which the couple ran into was the realization that no matter how many scholarships they gave out, it would never address the core, or root, of the problem – the inherent option, or lack thereof, of school choice. In the mid 90s Ms. DeVos made her first entry into politics to further champion the cause of school choice, in 2000, she embarked on a campaign to change the state constitution of Michigan which would allow for school vouchers, that is, tax credit scholarships – unfortunately the move failed but this didn’t slow down Ms. DeVos efforts. In 2001 Ms. DeVos got involved with a political action committee called The Great Lakes Education Project which worked to advance the cause of education reform which inspired Ms. DeVos and her husband to create the American Federation for Children, a 501(C) non-profit organization which is dedicated to the advancement of the cause of school choice and school vouchers.
Read more: http://nypost.com/2017/01/30/why-we-need-an-outsider-like-betsy-devos-as-education-secretary/
The Hungarian born financial expert George Soros arrived in the U.S. in the 1950s with a short term plan to build his fortune and return to Europe after five years working on Wall Street; over six decades later and the now U.S. citizen is still living and working in the U.S. in a way he hopes will have a positive effect on the world as a whole. Forbes reports George Soros found success with his career as a hedge fund manager and formed his own fund in 1969 with just $12 million, which has now morphed into the Soros Fund Management brand that manages assets worth a staggering $30 billion. Soros returned to active investing in 2015 and also made a major return to political and philanthropic life at the same time as the Holocaust survivor stated he had spotted the need for him to return to major political giving for the first time since 2004.
During the 2004 Presidential Election, George Soros donated around $27 million to the campaign of Democrat John Kerry for The White House, largely because of the fear Soros had about the policies of President George W. Bush and his opposition to the Iraq War. At the end of the election cycle it was made clear that George Soros was not going to be making a habit of making multi-million dollar donations to political parties and the 2004 election should be viewed as a defining moment where the financial expert saw the global political situation as unique, according to Politico.
In 2015 it appears George Soros once again saw the rise of a right wing within global society that he felt was so strong it needed to be fought with all the might that could be mustered by those on the left of politics. George Soros made a major commitment to the election campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to become the first woman to become the U.S. President; included in the financial commitment made by Soros to the Clinton campaign was a $13 million donation made directly to her campaign and a further $12 million to Super PAC’s backing the campaign.
George Soros understands the fact there are many issues facing the U.S. and the global political arena at the current time and uses his own Open Society Foundations to back the issues he feels are most important. In the U.S. George Soros feels some of the most important work he can complete is to protect the rights of minority groups with financial donations made to groups seeking to ensure all U.S. citizens have the chance to vote no matter if they come from a minority group within the nation.
Visit cnbc.com to know more about George Soros.