The Academy of Art University was founded in 1929 and was established to be a school for advertising art. Until 1951 the school was led by the founder Richard S. Stephens, who also happened to be a magazine editor and a painter. Richard A. Stephens took over for his dad in 1951 and lead the school until 1992 when he was replaced by his daughter, Elisa Stephens. While she held presidency she amazingly was able to take the number of students from 2000 to 18,000 by 2012.

In 2007 The Academy of Art University was able to receive regional accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Along with their other incredible accomplishments, the school has also been able to become a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. In 2016 there was around 7% of the students that were able to complete a four-year degree within the appropriate amount of time. The school amazing accomplishments do not stop there though. The Academy of Art University Automobile Museum is also operated and owned by the Academy of Art University.

On September 9, 2017, the Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion was able to hold their 21st runway showcase. The show was said to be of top interest by many due to the different backgrounds of many of the designers. Many of the designers were coming all the way from China to coastal Maine. This brought tons of interest due to all of the different ideas that were going to be expected to be at the show. This left many of the students panicking for hours as they all got ready for their 15 minutes of fame. The thing that made the students even more nervous was that they were not only showing their pieces in front of other students but also tons of celebrities that had come out that day to see all of their fashion pieces. So one by one each of the students showed what their visions were for the future of fashion and by the end, the show was a complete success for all.

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Betsy Devos has been working for children’s rights for three decades. One way she does this is through nonprofits. Devos has been on the board of several organizations that champion education, and often, this involves changing some of the standard practices that are no longer effective. Many school systems should be commended for the work the teachers and administrators do with the resources they have available to them. Betsy Devos wants to contribute to their work and highlight areas of success. Giving money, time, and attention to programs that are working is one way nonprofits create change.


The American Federation for Children (AFC) is one such organization. Betsy Devos is the chairperson. The AFC speaks up for parents that can not choose which school their kids get to attend. In many counties across America, a child’s address determines the school they get to go to. At one point, this method worked well, but today, it has become imbalanced. As the chairperson, Devos sheds light on the fact that many lower-income families live in the same neighborhoods, and their kids all go to the same school. Because families do not have the financial means to attend a school of their choice, many feel trapped. Devos expresses that money should not be the reason why families do not get a voice in the educational system.


Alliance for School Choice is another education reform platform that Devos chairs. It works side by side with the AFC, and it is not-for-profit. Both organizations have similar goals, which is to increase schooling options for everyone. Some of the methods Alliance for School Choice uses are vouchers. School vouchers allow parents to pay for private or other types of schooling. The coupons are supported through private parties, charitable donations, and corporations.


Florida is one state that has successfully navigated the programs. They were able to offer scholarships that gave donators a tax credit. If an individual wants to support school choice, they can give money to nonprofits, such as the AFC or Alliance for School Choice, then when this individual files their taxes, they can get some of the funds returned to them in the form of a tax credit. A tax credit allows taxpayers to reduce the debt they owe the IRS. It is different from a tax write off. It is one effective way for these operations to get funding for school choice. People are not taxed to pay for it, but rather, it is funded through donations.


More than the traditional state classrooms are supported. Homeschooling is an option for parents who want to have more control over their kid’s education and environment. Private schools often charge a fee. Having access to scholarship money can help lower-income students get into these institutions. Charter schools are another option. Many charters require parents to apply, but it is no cost to the students. As you can see, Betsy Devos and her various philanthropic organizations help all types of students find the best classroom for their particular needs. It is not based solely upon location.


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