Betsy DeVos is the newest Secretary of Education for the United States of America. Selected by President Donald J. Trump, Mrs. DeVos faced staunch public outcry after she was nominated and brought in for her confirmation hearing. After a contentious vote, Betsy DeVos was summarily confirmed and appointed to her position. Despite this ostensibly rocky beginning, Betsy DeVos hasn’t allowed herself to be cowed by public scrutiny. In fact, she has thrived under the immense spotlight that the media has shown on all Trump appointments to his presidential administration. With such an intense spotlight being aimed at Betsy DeVos, it seemed almost necessary to share some facts about her past, her present, and her future ambitions in order to paint a fair picture. Let’s jump right into the subject in order to discuss one of the most contentious appointments of the 2016 Trump Administration.
Betsy DeVos comes to Washington D.C. by way of the state of Michigan. For the better part of the past thirty years, Betsy DeVos has served as a private citizen who has been intensely interested in the state of politics where she was born and raised. As a prominent conservative and invaluable GOP donor, DeVos managed to work her way up the ladder of notoriety among her conservative peers. Renown for her stance on education reform, Betsy DeVos has become something of a champion for educational evolution under the leadership of prominent conservatives. Nominally not a field dominated by conservative thought, DeVos is bringing a breath of fresh air to the public education arena.
Born and raised in Holland, Mi, Betsy DeVos had the opportunity to sit back and relax with her family fortune already secured. Despite the relative comfort of her early life, DeVos didn’t take it easy. Instead, she worked tirelessly in order to sharpen her mind and make herself more ready than ever to bring change to the political arena. DeVos would go on to attend Calvin College, the school that would sharpen her political mind, and she would become intimately familiar with the writings of people like Milton Friedman. Friedman was a Nobel Prize-winning author who focused heavily on the role of the government in education and other faculties of private life.
For the past thirty years, DeVos has focused on education reform and now she is getting her chance to bring the idea into the mainstream. Expect DeVos to spend the next couple of years working to bring school choice to the masses.
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The homeless population in Dallas, Texas is up a bit according to recent reports, and many of those who are homeless choose to remain on the streets rather than seek temporary housing in shelters. The weather in Dallas is pretty warm year round, but winters can bring more than a few brutally cold days and nights. Temperatures in Dallas easily get into the hundreds in summer, and the heat index remains there way after summer is over. Many homeless fall victim to weather-related illnesses and often death from heat or extreme cold. The state works hard to combat homelessness, but with devastating storms and limited resources, it is a difficult battle. There is a Texas-based company who makes it part of its mission to help fight and win the battle of homelessness in Texas and across the nation.
Stream Energy is a direct-sales energy company that takes on homelessness first hand by providing resources to the homeless population in Dallas. Stream Energy works with other agencies like The Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity to provide housing and school supplies those in need.
Stream Energy supports local charitable organizations through their foundation Stream Cares. Their team of associates go out into the Dallas communities and hand out water, book bags, school supplies, hygiene kits to residents. The Stream Energy team also puts on hard hats and safety gear to help build housing for displaced residents.
Statistics have shown that when families have homes to raise their children, the high school graduation rates are much higher and there is an increase in higher education enrollment. Stream Energy works hard to ensure that families have the opportunity to restart their lives after homelessness. Homelessness can occur without notice from a devastating natural disaster or a sudden layoff from a company or industry closing. Stream Energy places people not profits at the heart of their energy business, and their efforts to rebuild Texas communities is an example to be followed.
As one of the most influential Jewish philanthropists in America, Adam Milstein has a lot to say on the subject. When he first started working to enrich the lives of those less well off, he quickly realized just how difficult it can actually be. From an outsider’s perspective, it might seem as easy as writing a check, but the reality is much less simpler. With that in mind, Adam Milstein has developed a few key points that he thinks are useful for philanthropists at all income levels, and can help people to develop a better focus on how they want to make a positive impact on the world.
In Adam Milstein’s mind, one of the most important points for any potential philanthropist to consider is just how committed they are to the work they’re doing. If you’re thinking about contributing to a cause or a charity, you’ll want to make sure that it’s something you’re truly passionate about. It’s easy to get caught up in a fad and then later regret your participation. Of course, philanthropy is also about more than just the work, it’s about the relationships as well. If you’re passionate about your cause, then you’ll also be more inclined to reach out to like-minded people and develop close relationships with them as well.
As previoulsy mentioned, Adam Milstein has spoken repeatedly about how philanthropy is about more than just throwing money around. It’s about rolling up your sleeves and getting into the thick of the work like everyone else. With that in mind, Adam Milstein suggests that philanthropists think hard about what other services they can provide to help out their cause, whether it be other networking opportunities, or something as simple as a rideshare service for volunteers. Regardless of what it is, as long as you’re making a real contribution to your cause, peole are sure to appreciate it and develop a similar work ethic of their own.
His story is one of tragedy and triumph. Born in Hungary in 1930, he saw the occupation of the Nazis in his homeland that led to over half a million Jews being killed. This horrible situation developed Soros as a helper of others as oppose to a victim. He and his family assisted others in securing false identity papers to hide their heritage. After the war, Soros left for London to study economics. While there he was influenced by the philosophy of Karl Popper, who expressed the need for freedom of expression and individual rights in a truly productive society. After migrating to the United States and working at a few high powered Wall Street firms, he set up his own hedge fund in the early 1970’s called Soros Fund Management. Now known as the Quantum Fund Endowment, it has over $12 million in investments and has made him a multi-billionaire, one of the richest men in the world.
George Soros continues to apply the principles he learned from the teachings of Karl Popper to this day. Just a few years after starting his company, he created the Open Society Foundations, inspired by Popper’s book “The Open Society and It’s Enemies”. He started out by providing college scholarships for black South African students under the oppression of Apartheid. Soon after, he helped promote critical thinking in parts of Eastern Europe where communism was soon to tumble, providing photocopiers to reprint writings that were once banned in various nations. His willingness to go against the mainstream continues with efforts in the United States and beyond. A critic of the War On Drugs, he became an early advocate for the use of Medical Marijuana. The Open Society Foundations have also made education one of their main causes, assisting in the establishment of after-school programs in New York City and making significant financial contributions to the Russian University system. Read his profile at Forbes.
The basis of George Soros’ charitable work has always been to encourage a free thinking and inclusive society. In recent years, he has been a proponent of same sex marriage and gay rights. Now in his 80’s, he continues to travel and meet with world leaders on behalf of the foundations. After all, a visionary’s work is truly never done.