Banyan Buzz
May, 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
Upcoming Events 
Mark your calendar
May 14 - Banyan Family Celebration
An old fashion carnival for Banyan Community. Over 200 people attend to enjoy games, food, and friendship. All are welcome!
May 29 - Graduation Celebration
A celebration of this milestone for Banyan Community hosted by parents and staff. All are welcome!
July 24 - Business Leader Breakfast
A gathering of 150-200 business leaders coming together in support of Banyan and to hear from a notable local business leader. 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 Board of Directors welcomes Barry Lieske, President of DeLaSalle, Ayo Olawole, Banyan Alum, and David Tynes, Cargill Executive to the board in 2014.  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 Peache
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!
School's Cool 
As the school year is winding down, School's Cool is kicking off! Thanks to the leadership from St. Bart's parish to ensure the success of this program. The School's Cool program provides every Banyan youth a new backpack, school supplies, and school uniforms to ensure they are prepared when they walk 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! Support School's Cool.
Graduates @ Banyan 
Banyan seniors graduate from DeLaSalle High School
Statistics indicate that only one of the four seniors would have achieved graduation without the support of Banyan and the Higher Ground Scholarship Program. Graduation is not the end of our commitment to our youth, but a milestone marker and the beginning of a journey towards college and beyond! Banyan staff, community members and parents are so proud of our seniors and excited to share with you their plans for college!
Article Image Keyvee has been a part of Banyan since her eighth grade year. She is the oldest of four girls in her family.   Basketball has always been her passion.  She has played that game since she was very young.  Keyvee is a long time resident of Minneapolis, and found out about Banyan through her pastor and teacher.  She realized that her connection to Banyan would ensure her success in attending and graduating from DeLaSalle High School.  Sure enough, she will graduate this May from DeLaSalle after playing all four years of girls’ basketball including winning a state title during her time at DeLaSalle.  Banyan has given her the connection and guidance she needed in order to be successful. To continue with this discipline, Keyvee will join the Navy ROTC in college.  This fall she will leave Minnesota to attend Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
Article Image Jason has been a part of Banyan since his early elementary years.  He is the older of two children.  His sister will be starting high school next year as Jason starts college.  His family originates from Ecuador.  Jason loves soccer and played it for most of his years in high school.  However, he took a year off of sports to ensure that his studies would stay strong.  This commitment to his future helped him to secure a Minneapolis Scholarship for a full ride to the University of St. Thomas.  Jason will be attending the University of St. Thomas in the fall.
David and Jorge
Article ImageJorge (on right side of picture)  has been a part of Banyan since early elementary years.  He is the oldest of three children in his family.  His family originates from Mexico.  It is a longtime dream of his nuclear and extended family for him to graduate from high school and attend college.  Jorge has been interested in police and military work since an early age.  That interest drew him into the National Guard.  Jorge enlisted last year and started his basic training this past summer.  Jorge plans to use the vehicle of the National Guard to help him learn the discipline and skills he needs to be successful in his future.  He will also use his commitment to help him finance his college education.  Jorge will attend training this summer and begin college at Mankato State University in the fall.

David (on left side of picture) has been a part of the Banyan Community since his early elementary years.  He is the oldest of two children.  His brother will start high school as he starts college this fall.  David’s family originates from Ecuador.  David enjoyed playing soccer each year while in high school.  He grew up playing the game in the community with his family and friends.  One of the aspects David enjoys most about Banyan is the social part of community. Let’s just say he has lots of friends and enjoys spending time with them—especially when any new video games come out!  David has also benefited from the structure the ASPIRE! Program gives high school youth at Banyan to ensure success.  It helps him to prioritize what is important in life.  David was awarded a Catholic Studies Scholarship and be attending the University of St. Thomas in the fall.
Summer is Coming? 
Can you believe the school year is almost over!?
The end of the school year at Banyan isn’t quite the same as a school.  Our community has a similar flurry of activities: assessments, meetings for parents and youth leaders, graduation parties, end-of-the-year-celebrations, field trips, uniform fittings and the astounding achievement of pulling off a carnival for over 250 people in 6,000 square feet.  Then we pack it all up, take a deep breath, and start all over in three weeks with summer programs! Banyan Cool Off Days provides six weeks of programming, leadership development, and camp experiences for 120 youth. We look with excitement to the end of the school year, but we seldom say goodbye, since summer programs are right around the corner! It’s a privilege to help kids grow up and nurture youth from one year to the next in a community that is supportive on the journey from Kindergarten to careers.
Family and Funders Dialogue 
Hopes and Dreams, Opportunities and Obstacles
Article ImageOn April 29 a small, but significant, group gathered for a conversation at Banyan.  The dialogue included Banyan parents, high school youth, and several funders—otherwise known as Family and Funders.   Conversations centered around, “Transforming our Neighborhood”  “Support for Families”  “Education for a Future” and “Growth of Banyan”  Each topic had insightful information shared by parents and high school youth, as well as questions from funders.  Diamond, Junior in high school, shares her dedication to education with these thoughts, “Why do I dare to dream?  Banyan has encouraged me to go further.  My friends are seeing me work hard and they ask me, ‘Why? You live in a poor neighborhood and you’re just going to stay here.’  Well, they’re wrong.  I know I’m going to college!” Special thanks to Otto Bremer Foundation, March Family Foundation, and Office of Higher Education for your participation in this year’s event.
Community Champion Award 
Banyan and DeLaSalle to accept award on May 13
The Community Champion Award celebrates the work of an individual or group connected with a school that has benefitted the school and community; and was chosen based on this criteria:
  • models integrity, commitment, and fairness
  • Creates and drives innovation, creativity, and excellence
  • Instills leadership by example and promotes giving back to the community
  • Demonstrates hard work, commitment, perseverance, and resiliency
  • Has a passion for students, education, and the community served
DeLaSalle High School nominated Banyan for our partnership and commitment to education, and the notable outcomes of our efforts. The Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF) exists to strengthen K-12 independent schools through advocacy and advancement.

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Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404