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Banyan Buzz
July, 2014
In this Issue
Banyan Community invites you to join us under the Banyan tree as we share our joys, challenges, and life events while living and growing together!  Banyan Buzz is our attempt to bring you into the center of our conversations to celebrate with us.  Enjoy!
Joani Essenburg, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Kids Club 
Article Image Thanks Carma for telling us stories of Transformation in KIDS CLUB this winter.  Each day we are able to make better decisions because of the courage, compassion, joy, and wisdom that we learn about at Kids Club.
Middle School Career Days 
Help us learn more!!
After school and summers are filled with  career exploration for our middle school  youth. They host people to talk about their career, what they do on a daily basis, what education/experience they needed to get there, etc. as apart of our education and career planning. These are the careers they requested learning more about:
Others they haven't thought of yet!

Are you are able to share your story with curious youth? Please contact Sue Riesgraf to discuss further.
Cool Off Days 
India (5th Grade) reflects
Article Image “If I weren’t at Banyan over the summer, I’d be at my house watching TV. I wouldn’t really do anything. At Banyan, it’s way different. You get to do new things all the time. This year we went to places I had never been to before, like the Minnesota Zoo. I learned so much about Cheetahs and the Arctic fox. I didn’t know a Cheetah was faster than a race car! We learn a lot over the summer at Banyan. When I go back to school after a summer at Banyan that’s all I talk about. Banyan is important. If Banyan wasn’t here things would get boring. They care about kids and treat us like their own family. Our neighborhood isn’t always safe, but Banyan is safe. Banyan is a privilege. You get to do things at Banyan that you don’t get to do at school. I make new friends at Banyan all the time. When I see someone left out I go and invite her to be my friend. At Banyan, you act nice to all the other kids even if they’re littler than you.”
Year in Review 
This video captures the memories, smiles, laughter, and success at Banyan in 2014. Enjoy!
Upcoming Events 
Mark your calendar
July 24 - Business Leader Breakfast
A gathering of 150-200 business leaders coming together in support of Banyan and to hear Tom Horner talk about "Moving Public Policy from the Capitol to the Neighborhood". Interested in sponsoring the event? Contact us for details.
September 13- Open House
Join us for a tour and learn more about our mission, get an update on our Capital Campaign, and meet Banyan families and staff. Tours given by Banyan youth, crafts and games available for kids and refreshments available. Bring your family and friends.
Growing Responsibly 
Capital Campaign
Banyan has made a significant generational impact in the last 15 years. We are now positioning ourselves to continue that impact for generations to come. We invite you to learn more and ask yourself, "What investment can I make to impact more lives?"
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Banyan Board of Directors 
Banyan’s Board of Directors is an active and engaged group ready to connect with you about resources for Banyan’s future.  Feel free to contact us.
Banyan Board:
Kyle Didier, Chair
Shelia Jones, Vice Chair
Sue Jensen, Secretary
Sven Wehrwein, Treasurer
Ed Egan
Rich Peacha
Mark Schulze
Barry Lieske
Ayo Olawole
David Tynes
Support Banyan Online! 
Banyan now accepts donations online! This is a convenient and secure way to support the work of Banyan. Give it a try!
Thanks to our Business Leader Breakfast Sponsors:Article Image
Business Leader Breakfast
Join us on July 24, 7:30 am
Each year Banyan Community brings together 200 business leaders for an inspirational morning to network and discuss the future of urban America.
Banyan Community recognizes that in order for people in poverty to thrive and succeed, whole familes AND the larger community must be connected. Banyan creates educational pathways for youth to develop leadership skills, engage in positive and meaningful relationships with peers and adults, and broaden their horizons. Likened to a "LinkedIn" social capital network that dissipates the ghetto like situation of poverty neighborhoods.
Register now to participate in the discussion with Tom Horner on "Moving Public Policy from the Capitol to the Neighborhood"
Off to Camp 
From the 'hood to the woods we go!
If you ever sit down to lunch with a Banyan kid and don’t know what to say… just ask them about camp.  Banyan has been taking kids to camp for over twenty years and they have some great stories!  This summer we will take our elementary youth to stay in cabins, go horseback riding, tubing, crafting and swimming at Camp Silverbirch Ranch.  Middle schoolers will be paddling down rivers and camping in Wisconsin with Camp Amnicon.  Parents and children of all ages will bond with one another on our overnight family camp with help from Wilderness Inquiry.  And high school seniors will learn to navigate the transition to college while they journey through the boundary waters with our partners at Coldwater Foundation.  Banyan kids count the days until it’s time for camp… all the waiting will end this Sunday as the first group hops in our vans and makes the drive to Lake Superior!
Basketball, Heat, A/C 
Throwback Thursday and a bit of trivia!
Pausing our ball game for a water break and perhaps a little strategizing we would have never thought it would become the start of a summer program. We were just sweaty, hot and thirsty.
I remember my childhood summers in the 90's hoopin’ out back on the Banyan Court. My siblings and I would spend hours with other neighbor kids playing 3 on 3, knock out and 21.
We had all we needed right there; water from a hose, the bathroom in my house and a basketball. On the really hot days Mrs. E would open the Banyan House for us to cool off in the central AC, enjoy a cold drink and perhaps even eat Freezies™. It always took us awhile to get back onto the court because no one wanted to leave the luxury of central air. I remember us joking one day about having a program where we could come to the Banyan House on really hot days and just sit together enjoying the cool air. A few weeks later during some of the hotter days Mrs. E opened up the Banyan for us to cool off and play board games together because it was too hot to hoop and very few had access to air conditioning at their house. This would later become the formal program of Cool Off Days named after the simple idea of allowing kids to come and cool down in the AC. Today one will find Banyan kids doing science experiments, playing team games, eating snack and even writing stories in Cool Off Days. And even though the program is clearly more developed than when it first started years ago there is still the underlying piece of providing a place for the kids to come and hangout together in a cool setting.
Banyan Family Celebration 
Fun for All!
Article Image The Banyan Family Celebration is the high point of the year for many Banyan kids, young and old – especially the ones that love to eat lots of candy, run through a bouncy house, shoot baskets and pucks for prizes, down some cake, and hang out with all their friends and family.  It’s kind of like Halloween, a graduation party and a family reunion all combined.  Throughout the year, every Banyan family made it to at least one of our gatherings, but this one almost always has the best turn out.  It’s a time for families to look back on the year, relax and let the kids run wild in the safety of the Banyan Center on Bloomington Ave.
School's Cool 
Back to School time at Banyan!
Article Image The School's Cool program provides every Banyan youth a new backpack, school supplies, and school uniforms to ensure youth are prepared when walking into the classroom. It really does make a difference that year after year Banyan kids are prepared and ready to go each fall. Years and years of this adds up to one thing - GRADUATION!  Thanks to the leadership from St. Bart's parish to ensure the success of this program - but we need you! Support School's Cool.
Community Council 
Strength Finders 2.0, by Tom Rath
Adaptability; Consistency; Developer; Communication; Arranger; Deliberative; Responsibility, Learner, Belief.... these are some of the strengths of the Banyan Adult Leaders in the Community Council. These are not the words however that come to mind when people think "low income".... 

We have some amazing parents who are very excited to discover their strengths in order to develop more fully to strengthen the Banyan Community. 
National Night Out - August 5th 
Lighthouse Network Gears Up
Article Image Minneapolis has held the record for the most block parties for several years, this year should be no exception. Banyan block leaders have been door knocking for members and signatures to block off the streets.  National Night Out is a great way to meet your neighbors and fun way to spend an evening. The Lighthouse Network has 14 blocks and growing.The Lighthouse pledge is to get to know your neighbors and help keep our community safe.
Connections Made Over Lunch 
Graduate, parents, and sponsor
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Nervous, humbled, and excited is how we all feel!  Higher Ground lunches (held after graduation) are the culmination of our scholarship program when sponsors and students meet. For the students it is a little scary meeting the person that has paid for your education and read your grades and notes each year.  High School is a journey, and although grades don’t tell the whole story they do tell part of it!  For the parents it is humbling to be able to say thank you for a gift that carries a lot of meaning.  A dream come true is what the scholarship program is for many parents.  For the sponsors it is personal to meet the people that their gift has impacted and to see how lives and futures are changed.  After the food is ordered and the lunch begins, soon the barriers all melt and the conversation turns to, “what was the highlight of your high school education?”  OR “What major will you pursue in college?” along with a lot of conversation about life and culture.
Honor Roll!! 
Proof of the Model
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Banyan youth are thriving as 65% of our High School youth are on the honor or high honor roll at DeLaSalle High School (DLS) this past semester.  This demonstrates Banyan's model of starting youth on the path of success at the elementary level AND the strong dedication and partnership of a community. It takes a great commitment for our youth to meet the high standards at DLS.  Our cohort of students/families/faculty/staff work together, creating a positive peer community that pulls people up. 
Banyan’s careful, complete and calculated work with low income youth to create a sense of belonging, a culture of achievement, and nurture a desire to succeed is working. 
Our youth have to study long hours when their neighborhood friends are out socializing, but in the end, our youth begin to see the payoff.

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