Betsy Devos is an Education Reformer and Philanthropist

The 11th US Education Secretary Betsy Devos has made it through some pretty high profile interviews lately. She has been able to talk through all of her points with grace and optimism, and although she has received criticism for many of her policies, she has always said the same thing. Educational choice is about putting students first.


In a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” Devos talked with Lesley Stahl about the new policies and what it means for America, as well as whether she thought there had been any success since starting these policies. Devos has always been an educational activist, who has worked mostly in Michigan throughout the 1990s and 2000s to change education policies.


She believes that students deserve to choose a school where they can get an education, especially if they are in a failing zone just based on zip code. While she has advocated for school choice for many years, it has been a long road that hasn’t always turned out successful. However, in one way, she has truly been able to affect change.


Through philanthropy, Devos has been able to achieve a lot of her goals. It is through her own foundation sometimes where she has been able to donate to education and community charities that have helped students immensely. She also has some of the biggest donors with her, including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton. These donors are just a part of the school choice campaign that has students and parents feeling empowered again.


In addition to school choice, there have been a number of other issues that have caused quite an issue for Devos. For one, she has been appointed to head up the school safety movement. The movement takes security of students into consideration during a particularly dangerous time in American education history. There have been multiple school shootings and daily threats continue to pour in for most public schools.


Devos has been implementing new policies over the summer before the 2018-2019 school season. She believes that guns do not have a place on school campuses and doesn’t think that the best way to help is by arming teachers either. Instead, security rules have been changed, guards have been added to some school campuses, and there have been numerous policies updating procedures for evacuation and security drills.


In the next two years, Betsy Devos will have to fight for school choice in addition to other policy changes at the state level. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here.


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Vinod Gupta, The Yellow Pages Guru


Vinod Gupta is a native from Rampur Manhyaran India a village that would be considered by many as third world being that it lacks running water, electricity, roads, or toilets. Gupta is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and holds a title of Agricultural Engineer and a Masters of Business administration.

Upon graduation Vinod Gupta received work at Commodore Corporation, a nationally renowned company located in Omaha Nebraska that boasts having 18 mobile home manufacturing plants throughout the United States.

During his time at Commodore and with only $100 in his pocket Gupta obtained all 4800 Yellow Pages telephone directory books from across the country in efforts to create an up-to-date list of every mobile home dealer in the United States.

Shocked by the abundance of phone books in the office Commodore management gave Gupta an ultimatum to either abolish all the Yellow Pages from the office or termination would be imposed.

When Gupta finished the list he requested a sum of $9000 from Commodore for it, or for the list to be sold independently by him to Commodore’s competitors at a selected cost per list. When faced with this decision Commodore officials chose not to exclusively purchase Gupta’s list. Read This Article to learn more.

Using his $100 Gupta marketed his list via mailers to ever mobile home manufacturing company on his list, Gupta received immediate orders for it as high as $22,000.

With his new found income Gupta founded American Business Lists, a company dedicated to acquiring information dependent on information found in Yellow Pages across the country. Soon after the acquisition of several related companies, American Business Lists became infoUSA and its focus became providing business information through its database.

Since Gupta’s initial $100 investment Gupta has raised over $3 million towards charitable business organizations in India which focus on education, Gupta values education, and attributes his success to it. He is known to advocate to promoting the value of education, especially Women’s Education.

Gupta has since received several prestigious awards and currently serves on various civic and educational boards.


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