TUMI Topeka honors women who’ve ‘changed heart of the City’

Pamela Johnson-Betts was one of the women honored by TUMI for her years of service throughout the community.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:16 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - “Every year we pick women who may work under the radar, but do have a huge impact for their city. So, we choose women to recognize them for the work that they do, and also, showcase how they have impacted their cities,” said Kim Teske of the Urban Ministry Institute of Topeka (TUMI).

Pamela Johnson-Betts was one of the women honored by TUMI for her years of service throughout the community.

“I’ve given service to youth and to elderly and have worked as secretary, and head of the Kansas Department on Aging and as a social worker in the school system,” said Johnson Betts. “And what it was in terms of uplifting others, making sure that we understand that we are our brothers’ keepers and when you get an opportunity to pull somebody up, that you do that.”

In her current position with Topeka Public Schools, Johnson-Betts said her priority is providing opportunities to students that otherwise may not have been available to them.

“It’s important to me as a graduate of Topeka Public Schools to make sure that children that are living on the east side, the west side, and the inner city have these opportunities that sometime are not afforded to them.”

Lorraine Eggen was recognized for the services her organization provides to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies.

“These girls come in and they may not have anyone there for them for support. They don’t know where their mothers are. It’s just a very hard and scary situation for them, and we’re there with love and support for them. And I personally take it to heart as it’s very special to me to help these girls,” Eggen said.

Tumi said Johnson-Betts and Eggen are only two of the women helping change the heart of the City.

“We want to raise up leaders in our City that will impact their neighborhoods and then impact our City and our state,” said Teske.

Thursday’s event also raised money for leadership development classes at the Topeka Correctional Facility, where 37 women are currently enrolled in the program.