Category Archives: Philanthropy

Two Sides of the Private School Issue and Two Sides of Betsy Devos

The Atlantic recently ran an article entitled the Tale of Two Betsy Devos’s. This may seem like a strange title for an article, and perhaps something like the Tale of Two Cities. However, the reality is that those who know Betsy Devos on a level that is a bit more personal than the way the public knows her are well aware of the fact that there are two Betsy Devos personas. One of is the one that she shows to the public and the other is the one that appears in private.


Those who knew Betsy Devos back in her home state of Michigan were surprised to see the way she acted when she was appointed as the Secretary of Education. After all, she is now seen as a controversial figure. However, those who knew her earlier, even if they did not agree with her opinions, always thought of her as a nice woman who was soft spoken and only wanted to do good things. They never expected her to be a controversial political figure on the national scale.


Betsy Devos grew up in religious schools and in a conservative family that was very influential. She married Dick Devos, who comes from the famous Devos family. This family is also known for being very influential and for donating a lot of money to different causes. She continued to donate money to these causes even after she was married to him. One of her favorite causes is supporting private schools and charter schools. She has donated money to them personally and also worked hard to get the government in different states to approve tax vouchers for these schools.


The debate over private schools is not a new one. Two hundred years ago, this debate was going on in the Netherlands, which is actually the origin of Betsy Devos’ family. Betsy believes strongly that some students will succeed not in public schools but in private schools, charter schools, and religious schools. She believes that they have the same rights as other students to financial aid from public taxes.


Essentially, this debate boils down to whether you view funding private schools or religious schools as a violation of the separation between the church and the state or whether you feel as if everyone should simply get equal rights. This is not a simple matter and there are people on both sides of the issue who believe very strongly in their positions.


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Adam Milstein Continues to Support the Jewish People

Many people recognize Adam Milstein for the contribution he has made in real estate. It is no doubt that as the managing partner at Hager Pacific Properties the company has served many clients and has indeed created an impressive portfolio of over $2 billion in the various properties it has continued to manage as well as those it owns across the country. Adam Milstein moved to the United States in the year 1981 together with his family. Before holding his current position of managing partner, Milstein was an agent. Besides his role in the real estate, Adam Milstein is one of the most generous individuals among the Jewish community.

Adam Milstein’s urge to help other people was encouraged by one of his blossom friends. He undertook this noble course and has been contributing to strengthening the relationship between the Israel-American community, the State of Israel as well as the Jewish community that resides in America. He does this through a family foundation that he and his wife founded. The organization is known as Adam and Gila Milstein Foundation. Among the numerous things that this organization does is sponsoring young professionals and students connect with the State of Israel. It also helps the young people understand and identify with their Jewish identity. The organization reaches out to residents of Israel as well as the Jewish community that lives in the United States of America like him.

Through the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, more than 75 grants have been given to various organizations such as the Pro-Israel groups that are found on different campuses. Pro-Israel runs a fellowship program whose objective is to help students learn about Pro Israel advocacy. It has also organized for numerous rallies in the US in support of Israel’s legitimacy that is jeopardized by the BDS movement. This involvement among many others led to Adam Milstein be listed among the 100 top individuals that have positively impacted on the lives of Jewish in the United States. As he offers material support to the organizations that strengthen the Jewish Identity, Adam has sat on various non-profit committees in the United States.

Dick DeVos Changing Lives in Michigan Through Philanthropy

One of the sad facts of the American Republic is the loss of personal responsibility in our current generation. Highly successful businessmen like Dick DeVos regret that many youth do not grow up with positive role models to guide their personal and career development. Dick DeVos has dedicated his life to helping make sure that those who are under served in education and business are given quality opportunities to succeed. Dick has experience with global issues, having served as Amway International’s Vice President. Dick DeVos has served on many organizational boards, including RDV Corporation, Willow Creek Association, Spectrum Health System, and Thunderbird School of Global Management.


The objective by the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation is to be a catalyst for other organizations that are not receiving the funding they need to revitalize the Michigan economy. Organizations like the Boy Scouts of America can be a positive influence in the lives of youth who want to grow up to be responsible adults who care for their communities. Dick DeVos’ father, Richard M. DeVos, outlined two important values that can help America become better, God and free enterprise, in his book Believe!


After the tragic recession that occurred in 2008, there is a deep need for the wealthy of America to unite and help those who cannot pay their daily bills. One of the core problems in America today is the corruption found in the teacher’s unions, who are often self-serving. In a 2002 speech, Dick DeVos described his frustration with the arrogant nature of the American education establishment. DeVos is particularly concerned that many parents of children are not trying to change the outcomes of their child’s education through voter activism.


Dick DeVos has used the family fortune to help fix downtown Grand Rapids Michigan. Some of the character values that Dick DeVos emphasizes for having a healthy personal philosophy are compassion, fairness, honesty, humility, moral courage, self-discipline, and thoughtfulness.


It is these core moral virtues that DeVos feels could transform America. The cultural problem is that many Americans are biased, deceptive, proud, cowardly, lazy, and inconsiderate. This is partly because they had no good role models in their early years to teach them differently. DeVos wants to help American youth by transforming their education. He has devoted a lot of his family fortune to getting charter school measures on the ballot. The goal of Dick DeVos is to see charter schools transforming student outcomes through greater freedom.