Business Leaders Breakfast
Tuesday, April 14th
7:30 - 8:30 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 families 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.
As an attendee you have the opportunity to provide the financial support that builds the bridge to opportunities for Banyan youth, the future work force and 1st generation business leaders and add to our “LinkedIn” account.
Coach Jerry Kill’s commitment to youth development and the importance of higher education, as well as the voice he gives to overcoming obstacles and pursuing your dreams, have us very excited to welcome him to Banyan!
In the coming weeks schools will be taking a spring break, a time many Minnesotans leave town and celebrate by heading south.
Meanwhile, Banyan will be a lively hub of fun and exploration for the whole family! When school is off, we are on.
Elementary and middle school youth will have days full of active play and field trips to keep them busy and learning. Their fun will peak on Thursday when they go swimming with all their friends at an indoor water park! High school youth won’t come to their normal tutoring sessions. Instead, they’ll be exploring college campuses at Northwestern and Macalester and finding ways to serve their community.
Every Summer at Banyan Has a Story!
Memories in the Making
The ice is melting and the birds are singing, could it be that summer is coming? Summertime is particularly challenging for youth and families in our urban neighborhood. Violence keeps our kids inside of homes, and lack of opportunities increase the achievement gap. BUT… BANYAN YOUTH AND FAMILIES have a different type of summer. Banyan summers provide:
- Academic enrichment: through a variety of experiences from the Arboretum to the Zoos—with a few pools thrown in!
- Youth employment and leadership development: Banyan employs high school and college youth to implement best practices in community youth development!
- Community building: Our youth and families have opportunities to enjoy summer together with joint field trips in and out of the metro!
- Summer camps! Banyan has a camp experience for all youth and parents at Banyan!
Staff members are busy planning summer, even as you read this newsletter! Kids and parents are getting excited! We just can’t wait!! How many days until summer??
A new measure of Banyan's impact in Phillips
Social Capital, Bonding Capital, Bridging Capital, Neighborhood Effects, Collective Efficacy, and Banyan Effect--what do all these terms mean? How does the work of Banyan as a community development organization interact and influence residential stability, making the community a better place, social interaction and trusting neighbors? These are some of the things that we study at Banyan because these actions, relationships, and indicators matter in our community. The great news is that the “Banyan Effect” is strong, very strong. Stay tuned as we share more in the coming months…..
8th graders making High School plans
At Banyan this is the “acceptance season.” High School seniors are waiting on their college acceptance letters and our 8th graders are just now hearing about their high school acceptances. A lot of planning goes into the education of Banyan kids from elementary all the way to college. Many of our 8th graders have been accepted and are planning to attend DeLaSalle High School.
Banyan 8th graders will apply for the Banyan Higher Ground Scholarship
to help cover the tuition costs. They each write two essays that are reviewed by the Higher Ground Committee. The committee will then look for sponsors to support the scholarships (a $6,000 commitment for 4 years). If you are interested in providing a scholarship, please contact Sue Riesgraf
This scholarship program has invested over $1M in high school youth and has graduated 25 kids with 27 currently in the program. Our high school youth are leaders in amazing ways because of this great investment by so many people!
Banyan Families roll into another Gathering
Banyan Gatherings happen four times a year. They provide the opportunity for families and neighbors to come together and experience new things and build traditions. Here are a few highlights from Bethany, Banyan's Elementary Educator and Program Manager:
Esmeralda (2nd grader) was super brave, flopping all over the place on the rink, but kept trying and trying, choosing to even let go of my hand at times. This was her first time skating. Out of the blue, after falling down multiple times, she said, “Rollerskating is so fun!!”
Kiaree (1st grader) was super brave as well—she was teaching other kids, encouraging them, etc. as she skated and fell down, got up and laughed a lot. As I was commenting to her mom afterwards, her mom said, “Yeah! This was completely opposite of last year! She was scared and didn’t want to do it! She’s improved a lot!”
Emily (5th grader) ASKED TO HOLD MY HAND!!! We skated around a couple times, me trying to get over my awe of a 5th grader being willing to skate hand in hand with a staff member! But as we skated we chatted—and she said, “I don’t get to do things like this very much. This is why I come to Banyan! This is so fun!”
Banyan Parents Explore College
Along with their youth!
College acceptance letters are coming in and Banyan seniors have some hard choices to make. Our staff work with parents and students alike
to help them decide which college they will attend. Most Banyan parents have not gone to college themselves, so we’ve created several different ways for parents to learn more about college.
Banyan parents meet with our staff one-on-one, some attend classes to walk them through the processes and terminology associated with college, and most even join us on college tours. The result of all this work is parents who are incredibly supportive of their youth’s education! The success of our youth is an inspiration to families. Now Banyan has over a dozen parents who are planning on going back to school!
College-based Enrichment Programs
Now Available for Banyan youth!
This summer, our high school students have an incredible opportunity. Through our partnership with the MN Office of Higher Education, we will be sending several of our 2nd and 3rd year high school students to learn, explore and live on college campuses across the state. Minnesota has some of the best college-based summer enrichment programs in the country, with opportunities to explore law, engineering, business, science, politics, language, and much more. Our youth are researching their options and writing their applications right now, hoping to explore what may someday become their career.
Who Are We??
I came to Banyan in 2008 when I was one year old and my partner came to Banyan in 2010 when he was three years old, we are now both 8. We are close friends at Banyan, we have already been to Camp Amnicon, Silver Birch Ranch, Cold Water Camp, Afton Apple Orchard, Day Away Retreat, Roller Gardens, Microsoft (that was a cool trip), grocery shopping trips (I hope nothing spills!), and to St. Bart's Parish to get LOTS of backpacks! We both have tattoos! If you haven’t guessed yet, my name is Bell
and my partner is Bud
. We are the Banyan Vans!
Bud got his name from the book, “Watsons’ go to Birmingham” his name is Bud, not buddy. And I got my name, Bell from Bell Mobile, the shop I was purchased from by Banyan. We are great friends and look forward to more years of service as we bring kids home from programs every day and go on great trips year round, together.