Kim Baxter of North Platte has won the distinct honor of national mentor of the month in the TeamMates organization.
Baxter has been involved in the North Platte chapter of TeamMates for more than 20 years. In addition to being a mentor, he has served on state and local TeamMates boards of directors.
TeamMates has more than 160 chapters in four states and Baxter was selected out of all the chapters, spokeswoman Hannah Paczkowski said.
The state office of TeamMates asked local coordinators to nominate someone they thought was worthy of the award. Molly Morales, the North Platte chapter coordinator, nominated Baxter, Paczkowski said.
Morales said Baxter has been a key part of the North Platte chapter and its successes.
“When I think of someone who embodies TeamMates and the core values of our program, I think of Kim Baxter,” she wrote in a nominating letter. “He unknowingly recruits mentors on a daily basis and works very hard to make sure our chapter is successful.”
Morales said Baxter has had several mentees over the years, but one match that sticks out in her mind is Aiden.
Aiden attended the Catholic Schools in North Platte and graduated in the top of his class, eventually attending basic training in the military, she said.
Prior to being matched with Aiden, Kim lost his own son, and he was not sure that he could mentor a youth again. Morales encouraged him to get back into mentoring, because she had watched Kim mentor several young men and “knew that his heart was meant to make a difference.”
“Kim will testify that through his relationship with Aiden, he found comfort and healing after the passing of his son,” she said. “It was what Kim needed to push through such a traumatic event in his life.”
Morales said Aiden and Kim built a friendship that will last a lifetime, with benefits to both. She said Kim needed Aiden just as much as Aiden needed Kim.
Also, another of Baxter’s mentees recently asked him to be the best man in his wedding.
“When I think of someone who has impacted the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential, I think of Kim Baxter,” she wrote. “He has truly made a difference in so many ways.”