Dick DeVos has always seemed to me to be the figurehead of the DeVos family after his time as the President and CEO of the company that lasted from 1993 to 2004; even now that he has been retired from the company for over a decade Dick DeVos remains intrinsically linked to the AmWay Group that has been at the forefront of his life since the 1970s. As a whole, the DeVos family is estimated to have an estimated fortune of over $5 billion and has given away more than $1 billion to good causes in recent years; I was pleased to see the tradition of the DeVos family in philanthropic giving has been continued by Dick and his wife Betsy, which has recently been reported to have grown to around $139 million over their lives.
I was recently looking over articles about Dick DeVos and came across a breakdown of what is known about his philanthropic works, which have included a major investment made into the education reform system that totaled around $3 million in 2015. Dick has never been a shrinking violet in providing his own details on the beliefs he has on life and education in the U.S.; in a recent interview I was pleased to see Dick DeVos was looking to explain just why the U.S. public school system needed to be reformed, and made a plea to the people of the nation to get behind reformers as they wished to share the American Dream with as many people as possible. As the founders of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation the couple have provided around $11 million in backing for a range of groups in 2015, but Dick also wishes to make it clear he has never wished to criticize teachers and administrators who are working under difficult circumstances in a system that is failing children.
My own research into the work of Dick DeVos showed me the amazing support he has provided for many different groups, including many arts based programs offered through the Kennedy Center for the Arts. However, no matter how I looked into the life of Dick DeVos it became clear to me this popular business leader with The Windquest Group wishes to make a major difference in the lives of children in Michigan and across the nation. As the founders of the first aviation based charter school, the West Michigan Aviation Academy Dick has backed the school with financial support reaching over $300,000 per year to make sure around one third of students come from families classed as economically disadvantaged. The 86 percent graduation rate for the charter school is obviously a source of pride for Dick DeVos who I have heard speak glowingly of the work the West Michigan Aviation Academy is achieving on a regular basis.