Dick Devos, as well as his wife Betsy, are two known mega-donors. They both come from wealthy families, and they have used their wealth in order to bring about change in the country and in their local community. They have made this their life mission.
One of the things that Dick Devos focused on a few years ago was giving more workers in Michigan a chance to work at a proper job and earn a living. Michigan has long been a place where organized labor ruled supreme and where a union membership was a condition for getting a job in many industries. Dick Devos’ right-to-work campaign changed that and gave many residents in Michigan more opportunities to work without the need to subject themselves to union rules.
One of the things that both Betsy Devos and Dick Devos have championed for is school choice. They have both worked for charter schools and campaigned for more support for these schools.
In fact, Dick Devos, with the backing and support of Betsy Devos, opened a charter school himself. It is called the West Michigan Aviation Academy, and it focuses on teaching kids how to fly planes. He started the school in 2010. Students like seventeen year old George Radashaw are able to fulfill their life dreams of learning how to fly planes in an educational environment.
The West Michigan Aviation Academy is a public school and is a nonprofit. It started out in the Gerald Ford Airport as a small school with just a handful of students, but it has since grown to over six hundred students, many of whom are bussed in from surrounding counties.
Another thing that Dick and Betsy did was found the Great Lakes Education Project. This is a political action committee that lobbies for education reform and school choice programs. They successfully blocked an attempt to make it harder for charter schools to open by requiring that they get approved by a special committee.
The West Michigan Aviation Academy does not charge tuition, as it is a public school. It is only through school choice programs that they can continue. They get seventy five hundred dollars for every student from the state. However, they also received seven million dollars from Dick and Betsy themselves. The academy has two Cessna planes and gives classes on all issues that are related to aviation. Learn more: https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-01-10/michigan-charter-school-backed-by-devos-growing