Beautiful, Brilliant, Bold, and Beyond our Years
These words do not describe poverty… they describe Banyan People… people that are living in a poverty neighborhood, but are actively working to alleviate the pressures that poverty places in our lives.
WE are Beautiful (Reconciled People), we reflect the beautiful diversity of our neighborhood. We are from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures… we learn about each other. We realize that we are stronger together than apart by building trust-based relationships.
WE are Brilliant (Committed Learners), we are not a school but we support learning, we believe in the development of youth- starting in Kindergarten all the way to and through college, we develop families, community, employees; development is in our DNA.
WE are Bold (Leading Citizens), we have 18 block clubs formed that reach out to 1400 people, there are proud and engaged youth and adults speaking on behalf of our community, our adults at Banyan discovered their strengths through Strength Finders, took Financial Literacy classes… and look forward to many more opportunities for Adult education and leadership when we are in our new building…
WE are Beyond our Years (Future Oriented) – Youth and Adults are making plans for the future… more common to hear, “oh I am planning to go to that meeting or do this activity…” than “oh, what are you talking about??” Third graders are talking about going to college and high school youth are receiving college acceptance letters… (average 3-5 letters per student).
Annual Dinner Update
We are Banyan…Beautiful, Brilliant, Bold, and Beyond our Years
, was the theme of the Annual Banyan Dinner at the American Swedish Institute on November 9th. Thank you to those that attended and supported our work. We raised over $80,000 towards the operating budget and the capital campaign at the event. There is still time to make a gift before year end, to ensure we remain financially strong!
Ever wonder about what happens at Banyan?
If so, this short video is for you
! Sit back and get a glimpse into all the fun and energy that is Banyan, every day! We’ve packed in photos from almost every Banyan program (youth, families, and community events) into a minute and a half! Capped off by the insight of youth sharing their thoughts on what Banyan means to them.
Young people have the power to change the world!
At Banyan, we couldn’t agree more! Our youth and families are proof that by working together, we can truly change our neighborhood and the world.
We Day brings young people together to celebrate the actions that they are taking in their local and global communities and to inspire another year of change by sharing the passion of world leaders and entertainers. This year, 20 Banyan youth attended the 2nd annual We Day at the Excel Energy Center with 18,000 other youth.
A high point of the day was meeting and posing for pictures with Craig Kielburger (co-founder of Free the Children and We to Me). Last year, a Banyan youth spoke to a packed venue on the importance of Banyan in her life.
Community Council Strategic Planning
Community Council took on the task of Strategic Planning in conjunction with staff in a white board session with 12 members that have over 134 combined years at Banyan. There were definitely qualified to answer the question - What is Banyan good at right now?
- Accomplishing goals/planning
- Scholarship/Education support/motivating kids to succeed
- Family Support/Trust based relationships
The next question was harder - In what ways should Banyan grow in the next 5 years (as we move into a new home)? After the exercise, one of the members declared that it was all possible, “Because we are the DREAMBUILDERS”
. Hearing the Community Council rename themselves ‘dream builders’ was monumental. Can you imagine? We are people that feel and know poverty as it rends our community and our families, but now adult leaders at Banyan are realizing that they are the dream builders?? That is how we are beautiful, brilliant, bold, and beyond our years. That is the work of Banyan.
Nat'l Honor Society & Honor Roll
Banyan youth are well represented!
The National Honor Society inducted new members at a ceremony this month. 57% of Banyan youth
are now members of the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
The ceremony also celebrated youth that earned a place on the De La Salle High School honor roll, 65% of Banyan youth were recognized in this category!
We are very proud of the accomplishments of Banyan youth and the recognition they receive from their school and outside organizations! WE are Brilliant!
Banyan Families head to the Orchard
Gatherings are one way Banyan connects neighbors to each other in order to build a strong community. These Gatherings provide the opportunity for families and neighbors to experience new things and build traditions, together.
‘Apples and Pumpkins’ happens every October and brings busses and vans loaded with Banyan youth and families to the apple orchard. This event is one that families plan far in advance to ensure they can attend. Young and old work hard to re-arrange their schedules to be available that Saturday. Experiencing the apple orchard has become an important tradition for many Banyan families and builds community in Phillips.
This year was a chilly day, but that didn’t deter the over 200 that gathered from having an incredible experience picking apples, selecting pumpkins, and making memories.
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
This year’s theme for Middle School Art Workshop is Let Your Light Shine. Too often we are shy, cautious, and even afraid to be ourselves and to share our gifts. Each one of us has different gifts, talents and strengths that we have been blessed with. The theme this year encourages us to embrace our gifts and use them to make our neighborhood and the world a better place.
Over MEA weekend (October 16-18) Banyan middle school youth gathered to paint a collection of pictures around this theme with artist, Anne C Brink
Together the youth and artist created 19 individual canvases and one large group banner. After completing their painting they write an artist statement which explains why they painted the picture they did. The canvases, artist statements and the large banner then go on tour to area churches and galleries to let their light shine.
To give forth or glow with light; shed or cast light.
To excel, or be the best.
It's in the Mail!
Watch your mailbox for the 2013-2014 Annual Report! The report includes a summary of all the great work and accomplishments of Banyan Community this year. Enjoy every picture, story, and statistic that celebrates youth, family, and community.