Did you know that all Keep Texas Beautiful provisional and official affiliates have access to an Affiliate Mentor? Keep Texas Beautiful 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 Keep Texas Beautiful affiliates, revive and reenergize organizations, and helped new staff members transition into their roles with the affiliate.
Each month, Keep Texas Beautiful will be interviewing an affiliate mentor about their experience and highlighting their service to Keep Texas Beautiful in this blog series. Vicki Gist, who has been with this program since the very beginning, is our third highlighted Mentor of the Month!
Vicki Gist is the Executive Director for Keep Sugar Land Beautiful, a position she has held and loved for 18 years. Vicki’s passion for environmental education began when her 5-year-old son said we need to teach people about the environment. She jumped into learning more about environmental issues. When her son was in elementary school, she founded a successful environmental club and taught weekly eco activities as a parent volunteer.
Vicki chose to become a mentor because she wanted to offer guidance and assistance to new affiliates or affiliates that feel they need a little help. Vicki says, “I am happy to listen, share my experiences, offer ideas, and just be there when they need a sounding board. All affiliates are different, but we all share a common goal to make our affiliate the absolute best.”
Vicki has worked with many mentees over the years ranging from Provisional affiliates to new coordinators revitalizing new organizations. With affiliates with such different needs Vicki says she “always stresses that our lines of communication are always open when they have a question or just want to talk”. Initially, it may be frequent and then evolves. She makes sure to check in with them every month or two. Mentees are guaranteed to work with their mentor for at least a year, but many times those mentorships blossom into great relationships.
Vicki’s favorite part about being a mentor is letting them know they are not alone, especially the new affiliates. She adds that “the absolute best part of being a mentor is seeing a mentee gain confidence and see their program succeeding”.
Are you interested in connecting with a more seasoned affiliate to help learn the ropes of Keep Texas Beautiful 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 Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.