Betsy and Dick DeVos- A Couple That Loves To Change Grand Rapids Institutions

Around 30 years ago, Dick DeVos was trying his best to work up the ladder of his father’s company. The company he started is called Amway, and it is still going strong today. While he was working hard, Dick learned about a plan in the city that he was not happy about. Developers were looking to build a sports arena that Dick and other local business owners thought would be bad for the skyline.


Instead of sitting back and simply allowing the plans to go forward, Dick DeVos and the other businessmen formed the Grand Action group to rally against the proposed plans and try to get them stopped. They were not fully successful at getting what they wanted. However, they all learned a great lesson.


Family Fortunes Used For Good


As a couple, Betsy and Dick are heirs to the fortunes from their respective families. Instead of sitting back and enjoying a life of luxury, both Dick and Betsy have used their financial status to work towards changing laws and other institutions they believe in. They both have a love of education and are major GOP followers. Together, they have donated millions to the Republican party and education programs.


Dick DeVos Wanted For FAA Board


In September 2017, the FAA announced its newest appointed members for their top citizen’s board. Dick was one of the seven members announced. Because of this, he now had a great reason to fly more often to see his wife in Washington D.C. At the time, Betsy DeVos became the Secretary of Education under President Trump’s administration.


For Dick, becoming a citizen member of the FAA panel was a dream come true. He has always been a lover of all things related to aviation. He has been a pilot for many years and also started his own aviation-themed charter school for high school age students in the hangar of the Grand Rapids airport.


The school started with less than 80 students. Over the following years, the popularity of the school increased and now there are more than 1,000 students attending. Many of those students come from hours away to attend the prestigious school. No students have to pay tuition to attend. This is similar to other charter schools in the state.


Michigan offers the charter school an allowance for each student that attends. On top of the state’s allowance, Dick and Betsy DeVos also donate millions to the school as well. The school offers its students many aviation-related classes on top of the basic curriculum. Engineering classes are very popular and get lots of attention. Additionally, there are other classes offered such as robotic systems, aerospace engineering and computer science classes. Not all students are looking to become pilots.


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