Betsy DeVos: Pushing for Equity in American Education System

Betsy DeVos is an active philanthropist who is fully committed to improving the quality of education offered to all American children. She has supported different organizations and programs that give priority to education of kids in the U.S. She has been targeting students from low income families who are unable to realize their goals simply because of the ZIP codes of their homes. As a result of her efforts, Mrs. DeVos was appointed by the President of the United States to lead the education sector in the country. The position will enhance the work she has been doing for close to three decades, fighting for the rights of under-served children who are discriminated because of their background.Mrs. Betsy DeVos was involved in mentoring students, teachers and parents at Public Schools in Grand Rapids. Through this initiative, she was able to assist many at-risk students who would have otherwise abandoned their studies because of what they experienced. Her interaction with students, parents and teachers later changed her perspective towards education completely. Prior to joining the Trump’s government, Mrs. DeVos was an active businesswoman, heading The Windquest Group together with her husband, Dick DeVos.

Philanthropic Causes Supported by Dick & Betsy DeVos

Mrs. DeVos began advocating for educational option through tax credit programs in Michigan, and later expanded to other states. Her main objective was to eliminate the perception that many parents had on where to send their children to learn would be determined by their homes’ ZIP codes. The movement she led was pushing for maximum freedom when parents were selecting schools to send their kids. Technology is one aspect Mrs. DeVos and her team relied on to offer long-term solutions within the education sector. According to her, children have the tendency to learn new technology very easy. When relevant legislation is passed, children in America will have the freedom to choose the best educational option. Mrs. DeVos was involved in the creation of educational options for children in 25 states. Furthermore, the program is also available in the District of Columbia.

Mrs. Betsy DeVos has been pushing for reforms through several nonprofit initiatives. She served as the chairman of the couple’s family foundation, which they use to channel their financial contributions. She also served on boards of numerous local and national institutions such as Mars Hill Bible Church, DeVos Institute for Arts management, Foundation for Excellence in Education and Kids Hope USA. She was also the chair of Alliance for School Choice and American Federation for Children (AFC). Betsy DeVos is an alumnus of Grand Rapids’ Calvin College, where she graduated with a Bachelors of Arts Degree. She was actively involved in campus politics, and has remained politically active since then.

George Soros and the Role of Civil Engagement

The Ferguson Protests were a huge moment in the recent history of the civil rights conversation for the United States of America. The Ferguson Protests were a lightning rod for controversy because they pushed the issue of racial profiling and police brutality right to the front of mainstream media. For a long time the news was dominated by the movement and the growth of something else, something bigger: #BlackLivesMatters. The Ferguson Protests centered around the shooting death of an unarmed black suspect, Michael Brown, by a white police officer named Darren Wilson. On the outskirts of this controversy was George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist who pushed for grassroots activists to have a voice. Visit Project Syndicate to learn more about George.

George Soros is the founder of the Open Society Foundations, a network of foundations and individuals all over the world that focus on social justice, pro-democracy ideals, and transparent government accountability. The Open Society Foundations has given over $12 billion to organizations in over 130 different countries. Soros and the Foundation also give profusely to activists here at home within the United States, including activists in and around the Ferguson area. In fact, the Open Society Foundations had given nearly $30 million to grassroots campaigns in and around Ferguson in the year leading up to the infamous shooting. Visit this site to know more at opensocietyfoundations.org.

The protests during the Ferguson shooting were widespread and loud enough to gain national traction. Thanks to Soros’ careful attention to grassroots activism throughout the United States, these activists had the backing they needed in order to take to the streets and stand up for what is right.Kenneth Zimmerman is the Director at the Open Society Foundations and he was very candid and open about how Soros believes in activism at every level. Zimmerman basically used the protests to point out that these types of shootings were not justified and that people weren’t being kept accountable. He went on to say that it was “democratic participation.”

George Soros has done so much more in his life than just become the head of the progressive social justice movement. Soros is a Hungarian born Jew who lived in the country during the Nazi occupation of 1944. From 1944 to 1945 over 500,000 Jews in Hungary would end up brutally murdered for nothing more than who they were. Soros was there in horror watching these events. He and his family helped Jews to falsify documents in order to escape the country before eventually fleeing themselves.

Know more: https://www.nytimes.com/topic/person/george-soros

Soros emigrated from Budapest to London where he would go to school at the London School of Economics. Soros would eventually graduate, working multiple jobs to pay for his education, before coming to America. Soros would create the Soros Hedge Fund and the rest is history now.

Jason Hope has a great perspective in Internet of Things

Jason Hope has a great perspective regarding the Internet of Things. His look into the future is not only amazing, but also very insightful. To think that his outlook into the future is correct, is a little scary, but also so interesting. We already control our general world over the internet now, but to think you could wake up and turn lights on/off and make coffee or even open your doors all by the click of a button. Jason Hope has talked about how it will be our wave of the future sooner rather than later.

Think about how it’s become an every day function for Americans, but imagine the world that’s out there. He goes on to talk about the advancements that using the Internet of Things has made even our bussing system and train system function so much better. Knowing which routes to avoid or something even as simple as routine maintenance or something wrong that can be fixed in such a more efficient way.

It’s become so much more useful, he says, as far as tracking accidents or something as simple as watching cars on the road. What is the busy time? What is the quiet time? This will then help improve our way of travel. Jason has talked about how the Internet of Things is going to change and make our lives easier and more efficient just by using the internet.

Jason has such a perspective into the wave of the future. It’s becoming helpful to modern businesses and even individuals who want the newest and best way to advance their technology uses. Whether it’s for their business or just themselves, his insight and passion for an understanding of technology predicts where the future is headed and how we can use the future of that technology.

To know more visit @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIrKoNVbIzs

Education is a Huge Priority for Betsy DeVos

When President Trump was inaugurated, the process began to get his choices for Cabinet members confirmed. One of those choices was Elisabeth “Betsy” DeVos. Betsy DeVos is being considered for the position of the United States Secretary of Education. There is a lot of talk about her if she were to be confirmed, but her history proves she is more than capable for this position.

Betsy was born and raised in Michigan and has been a Michigan resident her whole life. She graduated from Holland Christian High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin College located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

She began her political endeavors in 1976 when she volunteered her time with President Gerald Ford. In 1982, Betsy DeVos became involved with the Michigan Republican Party and was elected as the Chairman for the party four times.

In addition to her political work, Betsy is also involved in many business organizations. Betsy is the chairwoman for Windquest Group, a company that she and her husband founded. This company invests in technology for clean energy. The couple was also involved, serving as board members and investors, for Neurocore. This company studies brain disorders.

Read more: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/01/31/512507538/under-devos-heres-how-school-choice-might-work

Betsy and her husband Dick created the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1989. This is an organization that works through charitable giving. They focus on five different areas: education, community, the arts, justice, and leadership. The foundation works to improve these areas in many ways.

Dick DeVos focuses on the community aspect of the organization. He is very active in the Grand Rapids, Michigan community and has been working hard to revitalize the downtown area. Betsy focuses more on the education aspect of the foundation. DeVos has been an advocate for education since her ‘20s. She believes that all students should have access to a top-notch education no matter where they live.

Betsy has publicly stated that she is not a supporter of Common Core but does believe in high standards, strong accountability, and that control of the schools should be at the local level. Betsy was heavily involved in many changes that were implemented to the Detroit school system.

Betsy DeVos has served her community in one way or another her entire adult life. Through her work with her foundation, she has been working to improve education for children all over the country. Her work has been noticed by many high-ranking political officials to include President Trump. The confirmation process has begun for her nomination for Education of Secretary. Time will tell how it plays out.

Entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky Gives Back To The Community Through Philanthropy

Serial entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky has developed a reputation as an astute business person and as one of the country’s foremost philanthropists. Lefkofsky reportedly has a net worth of approximately $1.6 billion. He built his fortune by starting and managing numerous businesses. Most recently Lefkofsky has served as the Chairman of the Board of Groupon, as the founder and CEO of Tempus, a company which hopes to use data to cure cancer by assisting physicians in providing personalized cancer treatment, and as founder and managing director of Lightbank, a venture capital firm specializing in disruptive technology businesses. Rather than spend his riches, Lefkofsky has decided to put much of it back into the community through his philanthropy endeavors.

The Lefkofsky Family Foundation:

In 2006 Eric Lefkofsky and his wife Liz formed the Lefkofsky Family Foundation as the primary vehicle for their charitable giving. Through the foundation, the Lefkofskys support charitable endeavors in the areas of education, the arts, medical research, and human rights.

The Foundation has donated millions to over 50 organizations. The Lefkofskys are noted for their donations to disadvantaged schools, before and after school programs, and programs that promote innovative education. The Foundation has also been a strong supporter of efforts to cure cancer and other diseases. They have also donated millions to local Chicago arts and cultural groups.

Some of the groups the Foundation have supported include:

Comer Children’s Hospital;
American Brain Tumor Association;
NorthShore University Health System;
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center;
Lurie Children’s Memorial Hospital;
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center;
Chicago Institute of Art;
Citizen Schools;
After School Matters;
Planned Parenthood;
Academy for Urban School Leadership; and
Several Chicago theater groups.
The Giving Pledge:

The Lefkofskys have also shown their life-long commitment to philanthropy by signing The Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge is an effort founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in 2010. The program hopes to gain commitments from the world’s wealthiest to donate the majority of their net worth to charitable endeavors. In 2013 the Lefkofskys signed the pledge and committed to donate over half of their wealth to charity.

Community Involvement:

Lefkofsky (www.lefkofsky.com/) has not limited his charitable endeavors to just donating money. He has also committed considerable time and energy to personally working for charitable organizations. He has volunteered his time for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Steppenwolf Theater Company. Lefkofsky was also a key player in Chicago’s efforts to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

More information for Lefkofsky here: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20161001/ISSUE01/310019995/can-eric-lefkofsky-save-your-life