The West Michigan Aviation Academy has emerged as the premier flying school in Michigan. Founded by Dick and Betsy DeVos, its mission was to avail a meticulous all-round program in the aviation industry to aspiring aviators. This rigorous educational program is meant to prepare the students for limitless opportunities such as university achievement and career success. Since opening doors in 2010 at the Gerald Ford International Airport, the institution has nurtured the flying careers of hundreds of students.
The founding couple has always had a passion for flying. Starting the institution was therefore the best way of actualizing their dream of seeing more young people take up the vocation. The first batch of 80 students was accommodated in a modest renovated office. Development plans were put in place and this has seen the school register impressive growth. At the moment, it is one of the largest flying schools in Michigan. This impressive growth is attested to by the fact that during 2012-2014 academic year, more than 240 students were admitted. This impressive growth has led to spatial and curriculum expansion with WMAA currently having a capacity of 500 students.
The school offers students an opportunity to learn in a friendly environment. Basically, it is meant for learners that have an interest in aviation alongside science, technology and engineering. Their interest is cultivated together with core values such as respect, belief and transparency. These are important values that DeVos himself stands for. Learning is tuition free since WMAA is one of the ways that DeVos uses to give back to the society. To make the learning experience more fulfilling, students are accorded the opportunity to undertake field trips and job shadows.
Due to the school’s vantage location, the young aviators have access to state-of-the-art airport facilities like the control tower, aircraft rescue, and airline and freight operations. This in essence is a hands-on learning approach. Life skills such as communication, decision making, team building, problem solving and critical thinking have also been incorporated in the curriculum to make graduates all round. In addition, it prepares them for their future careers. The founder has been part and parcel of the institution’s success and oversees its day to day operations.
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The DeVos family is a prominent family within the Grand Rapids region of West Michigan. The family is not only known for success from the family business of Amway Corporation, but also from the many contributions that this family has made towards charitable organizations. The DeVos family, through their millions of dollars of contributions to their community has been labeled as one of the top philanthropy families in the United States. The current wealth of Richard DeVos of $5 billion has continuously put him on the Forbes Magazine list of wealthiest individuals in the United States. With the family’s extensive wealth and prestige, one of the biggest contributions this family makes is towards education.
The DeVos family currently operations three different education-oriented foundations. In addition to their foundations, the DeVos family continues to move money into socially conservative causes that push any decision in favor of education to the favor of the DeVos family.
One member of the DeVos family is Dick DeVos who has involved himself with running the family business. Mr. DeVos has served Amway Corporation in many executive positions including the position of CEO. Mr. DeVos, like his father is a strong supporter of the education initiative. Unlike many politicians, Dick DeVos and his wife are firm believers that wealth is only the result of high productivity. Instead of giving the public money through welfare, Mr. DeVos believes that the opportunity to be productive should be what is offered. The opportunity to be successful is done through offering the opportunity of a higher level education.
Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy DeVos, have created a charity organization of their own known as the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The foundation was founded with a purpose to build an even stronger community. The organization has helped to fund several endeavors such as the West Michigan Aviation Academy as well as the Education Freedom Fund. Both of these organizations are education oriented and give needy children scholarships through private schools.
Dick DeVos’ involvement in politics is what has made him an influential individual within his community. Mr. DeVos is known has a benefactor to his community and has done nothing but circulate wealth. Dick has a savvy business mind, and through his goal to help others, has created several beneficial organizations that will continue to help others. Dick DeVos and his wife have many plans for the future to come.