Written by Sara Walters, Program Manager for Keep Texas Beautiful
Did you know that all Keep Texas Beautiful provisional and official affiliates have access to an Affiliate Mentor? KTB started the affiliate mentor program back in 2018 as a way to help meet the needs of the nearly 300 affiliates across the state. The program aims to provide guidance for new, struggling, or disengaged affiliates. Since the program began, we have added 11 mentors who have served more than 40 affiliates, and we are still going strong today! The program’s mentors have worked with communities to help them become KTB affiliates, revive and reenergize organizations, and helped new staff members transition into their roles with the affiliate.
Each month, KTB will be interviewing an affiliate mentor about their experience and highlighting their service to KTB in this blog series. Timothy Hamilton, who has been with this program since the very beginning, is our first highlighted Mentor-of-the-Month!
Timothy Hamilton, a mentor from Duncanville and a KTB Board member, is a subject matter expert in parks and recreation, trees, and landscaping. He has worked with communities on those topics, as well as helping affiliates restart their programs and assisting provisional affiliates working through the process to become an official KTB affiliate.
Timothy chose to become a mentor due to positive past experiences with unofficial mentors in the past, and he wanted to pay it forward to other communities around the state. He believes that “seldom are there completely unheard-of-challenges and through mentoring, solutions can be identified.” Ongoing communication with the mentees is one of the biggest struggles he faces when mentoring, but “getting to know the up-and-coming future of our affiliates and the idea of serving others” makes up for any challenges he faces.
Timothy explains that you don’t need to talk often to be an effective mentor, and he only meets with mentors once every other month over phone or email. Being a mentor doesn’t mean that they have to juggle mentee’s problems and challenges completely alone – you always have Keep Texas Beautiful to provide extra help. Timothy utilizes KTB resources, stating that there are “abundant resources in the KTB affiliate portal”. KTB affiliates have access to resources like working with boards, volunteer tools, fundraising guides, and so much more! He also says that mentors are also able to contact KTB staff in case one “runs up against something where the answer is not clear.”
Join the Mentor Program
Are you interested in connecting with a more seasoned affiliate to help learn the ropes of KTB and get inspired with new ideas, or are you an affiliate who’s ready to pass along your knowledge to other up and coming affiliates? Each mentee is paired with a mentor for at least one year and reaches out to provide guidance at least four times. If being a mentee is something you’re interested in, please fill out this brief form so we can best match you with an appropriate mentor. Or if you would like to get started on becoming a mentor, please fill out this form or contact Sara Walters at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.