About our inaugural recipient, Pamela Atkinson
Governor Gary Herbert has called her, “the Mother Teresa of Utah.” Pamela Atkinson is best known for her tireless work as an advocate for the homeless, refugees and low-income families in our state. Atkinson believes that even a small amount of giving and caring can have a powerful impact on someone’s life. She assists people in finding opportunities to volunteer in a variety of settings and in collecting bedding, clothing, food and other essentials for families who are making the transition from homelessness to having homes of their own. She also explores ways to prevent homelessness. Additionally, Pamela likes to work with women who are single parents trying to get off welfare and advocates for children wherever and whenever there is a need.
Pamela was instrumental in initiating the Lincoln Family Health Center, which operates in a low-income school, the Intermountain Neighborhood Clinic and the Rose Park Family Health Center, another clinic in a low-income school. All of these clinics provide health care for students and their families. Her belief is that children who are ill experience difficulty in learning and through collaboration with the community and schools, such clinics can provide preventive and primary health care.
Pamela was appointed to the State Board of Regents for ten years. She has also served on the State Board of Education and the Utah College of Applied Technology Board. She now serves on the State Homeless Coordinating Committee, Envision Utah, Utah Coalition Against Pornography and the State Refugee Advisory Board. Pamela also works with Governor Herbert as an advisor on policy, planning and strategy and works with Legislators regarding funding and public policy.
Pamela believes that there must be private and public partnerships in order to prevent and solve many of societal problems. She believes most people are willing to give of their time and skills when opportunities to serve are presented to them. Pamela has a strong belief that education is the way out of poverty and that mentoring children and their parents helps to prevent intergenerational poverty.
Additionally, Pamela strongly believes that we should never underestimate the powerful impact on people from even a small amount of giving and caring!