Dick DeVos: Philanthropist and Entrepreneur

Michigan has a problem with the inner cities. Minorities and those of lower income status are struggling to get the help they need. Education is one of the biggest problems. Because of this, the crime in the area, especially Detroit, has been a big issue. However, one man is doing a lot to change that.


Dick DeVos is a philanthropist and entrepreneur who has spent his life helping others. He built numerous successful businesses and employed more people than most. However, for Dick DeVos, it isn’t just about the money. In fact, instead of being selfish with it, he is very generous. He has given over $1 billion to charity over the years.


DeVos has a passion for helping those in need of educational opportunities. Detroit is known for its problems with this very topic. That’s why he and his wife took over an initiative to offer training to teachers of lower income minority students. By doing this, they increased attendance of the students by 30% because they were now engaged more in the classroom.


In addition, DeVos sponsored a scholarship for children who show entrepreneurial promise. It has helped many students go on and attend the college of their choice and graduate with MBAs and other business degrees. It shows how one act of kindness can change someone’s entire life.


He leads in his role with the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation. Through this, they have given $90 million to various causes: faith, community, social, and art services. One of the things he did was to help people who just needed basic access to health services, help with looking for jobs, and a place to sleep. By doing this, one woman was able to pull herself off the streets, get a driver’s license, and a full time job in just 6 weeks.


Choices for Children is one of the organizations that he works with frequently. It focuses on one of his core passions: allowing freedom of choice in education. With the lack of competition in public schools, as it’s virtually impossible to fire school teachers and administrators for poor performance and school testing has been proven to be ineffective, he helps parents get vouchers. These vouchers act as tax credits to let parents choose where their children go.


DeVos led an action to get government and business leaders together. They discussed a number of ways to improve Detroit. They were able to improve conditions and eventually the crime started going down, thanks to his participation and philanthropy.


Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/ to learn more.