When Betsy DeVos was nominated for the position of Secretary of Education under President Trump, folks around the country raised their shoulders in a collective struggle. The problem, to them, wasn’t that Betsy DeVos was a poor choice. More specifically, they simply didn’t know who she was. Like President Trump had promised during his campaign, the Trump Administration would be staffed by people from outside the traditional circles of government. Draining the swamp wasn’t just a mantra meant to hype up onlookers at rallies, it was a phrase to live by. Betsy DeVos would be confirmed by the Senate with VP Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. Now in office, Betsy DeVos is going to be working steadfastly to prove that she was worth the nomination and confirmation. What is Betsy DeVos aiming to do? How is she going to get it done? What do all of her peers think of her?
Betsy DeVos grew up in Michigan where she was raised in a fairly wealthy family. Despite this early wealth, DeVos would spend her years honing her education and keying in on the things that mattered to her. After graduating from Calvin College, DeVos would embrace the core aspect of educational reform that Milton Friedman had tried so hard to get into the mainstream just fifty years before. As a school choice activist, Betsy DeVos would go ahead and establish a pair of charities in order to help fund school choice institutions in Michigan. She would take a specific interest in the Potter’s House Christian School and she would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as thousands of her own hours volunteering at the establishment. Success with the Potter’s House led to more than 33 institutions throughout 17 states to be established, cumulatively affecting the lives of nearly a quarter of a million students.
As a professional outsider in Washington D.C., Betsy DeVos knew that the cards would be stacked against her — even with the popularity of President Trump and his own personal confidence in her work. DeVos knew that at some point she would have to establish herself as more than just a reformer, she would have to establish herself as someone who could hang tough with the political legends roaming throughout Washington D.C. More than anything, DeVos knew that she’d have to learn to stick to her beliefs even when they ran contrary to the public or even her own party.
Since becoming the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos has managed to establish herself as a powerful and independent figure within the Trump administration. DeVos showed early on that she was more than willing to work across the aisle, fighting for LGBT protections in school bathrooms, but that she was also willing to abide by the needs of her party. DeVos has already established herself as something of a political fighter, one who isn’t going to be cowed by the demands of the job, and she continues to impress those around her to this day.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.