Ever since he was a child, Dick DeVos had a love of flying. This was partially instilled in him by the fact that his dad and his dad’s business partners would often take him on trips aboard their own private jets. This constant interaction with advanced aircraft instilled a lifelong passion in Dick DeVos, leading him to pursue a life of aviation as an adult.
As a long time private aircraft owner, type rated in many different types of aircraft, including his own private jet, DeVos has honed his skills as a pilot and flown across the world for decades. It has been this intense love of Grand flying that lead DeVos to create the first ever charter school dedicated to teaching students the art of Grand flying and the science of aeronautical engineering. Called the West Michigan Aviation Academy, this highly innovative charter school has been teaching kids how to take to the skies for more than a decade.
One of Dick DeVos’ other main interest throughout his life has been create new ways to educate disadvantaged young people. DeVos has seen the immense failure of the U.S. public school system and the wreckage that it has left in its wake, especially across the America’s many inner city neighborhoods. DeVos has seen the devastation that has been wrought by failing schools and their inability to graduate students with even the most basic leves of life skills. He has seen these failures documented over the past multiple decades in the various horribly substandard test scores that many of the nation’s urban school districts routinely earn.
DeVos finally decided to do something about this woeful state of public education in the United States. In the mid-2000s, he decided to create a charter school that would not only capture the interest of a large percentage of urban youths of his hometown of Grand Rapids Michigan, but would also be able to teach them real skills they could directly apply in the workforce.
The West Michigan Aviation Academy became an almost instantaneous success, immediately demonstrating that kids from some of the most disadvantaged demographics across the state of Michigan had what it took to post some of the top test scores in the state. The enormous success of the West Michigan Aviation Academy, in addition to a number of other highly innovative charter schools that DeVos has been involved with, roundly demonstrate that is completely possible to remediate many of the most pressing failures that have continued to haunt America’s public educational system.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/ to learn more.