Banyan Buzz
March, 2017
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 way 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
Business Leaders Breakfast
Thursday, April 27th
7:30 - 9:00 am
2529 13th Ave S
Join other business leaders to discuss the future of urban America.
College Decision Day
May 1
Banyan high school seniors will be committing to colleges on or before this date. Your supportive thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
Hey Banyan!
Wednesday, July 26th
4:30 - 6:00 pm
"Compassion and Justice"
Tim Essenburg, Co-Founder, Banyan Community and Professor of Economics, Bethel University
'Mini' Joins the Fleet
Urban Parking Improved!
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'Mini' joined the Banyan fleet as a tool to help strengthen families. Last year, our Family Advocates and Community Coordinator made over 3,000 connections to resources for families, many of those done in our 12 or 15 passenger vans. Things like, taking families to doctor appointments, on school visits, to pay rent, to preview apartments, meet with social workers, etc. It was not as efficient using the big vans, and trying to park them, as it is now in with Mini! 
Bud and Bell are now primarily used to get youth to and from school every day, and take kids on field trips, to summer camp, etc.
Summer At Banyan 
Making Strides and Memories
Article ImageSummertime is particularily 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 to cool off!
  • Youth employment and leadership development for high school and college youth to implement best practices in community youth development.
  • Community building through field trips in and out of the metro for youth and families.
  • Summer Camps are experiences available for all youth and parents at Banyan!
Consider Banyan as you make your summer plans and donate to ensure we can create a summer full of learning and memory making!
Funder Feedback 
Post Family Conversation
"The Family and Funders conversation was very eye-opening and affirming. Banyan students and family members shared their dreams, aspirations, and daily struggles in a very authentic way. Speaking from the heart helped me better understand both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as they seek to improve their lives and neighborhood. The conversation focused on how Banyan is a welcoming and safe physical space, but also how it has become an important catalyst for action in peoples lives, encouraging them to speak out for themselves, form block clubs, build networks, and focus on academic achievement. The opportunity would give any funder or partner organization a good sense of how their investment can pay dividends and have long-term positive impact."   Jim Hield- WEM Foundation
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:
Brian Provost, Chair
Mike Wilczynski, Vice Chair
Trevor Knight, Secretary
Dan Farley, Treasurer
Susan Haffield
Justin Hanratty
Barry Lieske
Lisa Mauer
David Tynes
Carol Wolfe
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!
Business Leaders Breakfast
Thursday, April 27th
7:30 - 9:00 AM
Article ImageBecome a partner and help build a bridge for 1st generation business leaders.
Banyan Community recognizes that in order for people in poverty to thrive and succeed, whole families AND the larger community must be connected. We create educational pathways for youth to develop leadership skills, engage in positive and meaningful relationships with peers and adults, and broaden their horizons. Banyan is likened to a "LinkedIn" social capital network that dissipates the ghetto like situation of poverty in neighborhoods.
Register Now and Join Us!
Angela and Daisy Find Banyan
Impact Story
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Angela is a vibrant first grade girl, smiling and fully engaged in the activities at Banyan. Recently she was playing red light-green light in the gym giggling with her friends, following along with the rules of the game, and very comfortable being a part of the activity. This was not the case when Angela came to Banyan in September as a “new kid.”   
At the beginning, Angela would shut down by hiding under tables, cry, and scream when she did not get her way. Now, Angela expresses her feelings with words instead of actions, easily shares toys, talks out issues with staff, and is eager to try new activities.
Daisy (Angela’s Mom) is also growing at Banyan. Within the first few months of Angela beginning in our after school program, Daisy participated in a home visit that lasted about two hours because there were so many positive things and possibilities to talk about. Daisy was amazed at the team approach at Banyan, first working with Jenny, the Elementary Educator, and Naomi, the Community Coordinator and Maricruz, the Family Advocate. The strong communication, supportive work, strategy and affirmation was a welcome change as a single mom. Banyan is working alongside Daisy to be sure that her and her daughter’s needs are being met.  
Banyan’s impact is measured in outcomes, many of which are demonstrated in this story: socially and emotionally engaged with peers, feels safe at Banyan, youth feel support from adults other than parents, participates in home visits, make new friends, try new activities, etc.
It is a joy to collaborate with Daisy and Angela and welcome them to the Banyan Community.
Challenges of Socio-Economic Mobility
How where you're born affects where you'll go
Article ImageThe first of the 2017 Hey Banyan! series featured an expert panel, with varying viewpoints on the topic of mobility: Myron Orfield, Tim Essenburg, and Ed Goetz, with moderator Adam Belz from the Star Tribune.
This quick video laid the groundwork for the subsequent conversation: 
The panelists each gave a historical look at the changes that have taken place over the last 50 years which led to more mobility challenges for those without a trade or college degree (the hollowing out of the middle class). The topic of racial segregration in schools and its impact on the achievement gap in Minneapolis was addressed. As schools become more segregated, the gap grows wider. Integration, and the depths of definition were discussed with respect to society as a whole.
Economic mobility is a complex, nuanced conversation - as was evidenced at the event. Solutions aren't easy or quick, but the conversation is important. Thank you to all that joined us for the dialogue. Mark your calendar for the next Hey Banyan! event, "Compassion and Justice", on July 26th.
Roller Skating
Banyan Takes Over Roller Garden
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This month, Banyan went rollerskating… about 230 of us for a private event! Banyan families filled the rink and had a great night together. 
Between skating, eating, playing games, and socializing, connections were made and strengthened! Gatherings are important times for community members to build relationships with each other, have positive shared experiences, and engage in new experiences. 
Overheard on the bus ride back to Banyan:
“This is sooo much fun. Can we come back next week?” Banyan youth
“I think this is something we could do as a family on the weekends.” Banyan parent
“I can’t believe they got me to skate for the first time!” Banyan parent
“I fell down a lot but it’s okay because my friends did too!” Banyan youth
Preparing for High School
Higher Ground Scholarship Application
Article ImageThe transition from middle school to high school is a big one, and something Banyan youth have been preparing for for years.
8th graders have spent time shadowing at high schools, taking the entrance exam at DeLaSalle and now are completing their Higher Ground Scholarship applications.
Each student that receives a Higher Ground Scholarship (to cover the cost of tuition) from Banyan is able to attend DeLaSall High School. In addition to the scholarship, Banyan provides full tutoring and support services to ensure youth are positioned for success when entering college.
As a result, Banyan youth are graduating high school at 100% and going on to college!
College Bound
Banyan Seniors Have Options!
Article ImageTo date, Banyan seniors have received over 17 college acceptances between the five students! Here is a look at their options. Youth and families are weighing program offerings, economics, and culture as the  May 1st deadline approaches.
Food at Banyan
Warm, Hearty Snack, Every Day
Article ImageIn partnership with Youthprise and Pint Size Catering, Banyan is now able to offer a warm, hearty snack every day to youth and families.
The meals are well balanced, nutrional, and tasty! Research shows that a full stomach allows youth to concentrate better on homework and learning.
Afternoons in the dining area are filled with laughter and joy as youth and families come together around the table to share a meal. It is an opportunity to connect with friends and staff, share stories from the day, and build healthy eating habits.

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Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404