When it comes to improving institutions from the inside, Dick DeVos has become a well-known force for change. According to a report from Crain’s Detroit Business, he’s made a substantial number of charitable contributions over the years, and many of these actually far outweigh his political ones. In spite of the fact that he’s probably best known for being a political donor, DeVos has managed charities that support everything from children’s hospitals to charter schools.
He was notably able to increase the overall number of flights that came to the western part of Michigan, which helped the local economy by making it more accessible to individual consumers. Likewise, this had benefits for those who lived in the area as well, since it ensured that they were able to be free to move about without having to rely on more expensive modes of transportation. His interest in aviation hasn’t been confined simply to acting as an advocate for consumers, however.
West Michigan Aviation Academy is a rather unusual public charter school at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, which prepares students for a career in the field. By 2017, it was host to students from seven different countries and it had received a healthy initial endowment from Dick DeVos and his family. That’s helped the school to continue to grow over time, which at that point had some 600 students.
While this might not seem like that many, the school is based around a novel concept. Considering that Dick DeVos is married to the former secretary of education under the Trump administration, it would seem that he’s in an equally unique place to experiment with different options. Naturally, some of these may not work out, but Dick DeVos has proven on multiple occasions that he’s willing to accept criticism and ready to make needed changes to provide students with the education they deserve.