Banyan Buzz
May, 2018
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 a way to bring you into the center of our conversations to celebrate with us. Enjoy!
Joani Essenburg, Co-Founder & Executive Director
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Upcoming Events
Mark your calendar
Graduation Celebration
A celebration of our seniors! 
Thursday, May 31
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Banyan Community
GEN Children's Charity Golf Open
Monday, July 16
Minneapolis Golf Club
Hey Banyan!
Poverty, Brain Development, and High School Graduation
Date and Location - TBD
Annual Banyan Dinner
Sunday, November 11
Banyan Community 
Preschool Coming to Banyan!
Early Childhood Education for 4 and 5 year olds
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We know that early education lays the foundation for success in school and a lifelong love of learning. That is why we included a classroom for preschool in our building.
We are almost ready to announce a partnership with a leader in early childhood education to deliver services to 4 and 5 year olds in the Phillips neighborhood! Stay tuned for details on who will be offering preschool at Banyan and when it opens!
Banyan Summer 
Ends the Inequity 
Article ImageResearch shows that summer learning loss is a significant contributor to the achievement gap. 
Summer is the most inequitable time for youth, in terms of access to learning, enrichment, nutrition, and other critical services.
The achievement gap widens during summer break.
Every summer, low-income
youth lose two to three
months in reading achievement while their higher-income peers make slight gains.
And, most youth lose about
two months of grade-level
equivalency in math skills in
the summer.
Year after year, these losses
This isn't the case for Banyan youth! We offer a full summer program that includes field trips, water parks, special guests, STEM projects, enrichment, work place visits, college visits, and summer camp for 3rd- 8th graders.
AmeriCorp Promise Fellow Reflection
Josselyne, a Banyan Alum
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"I was able to spend time this month with Banyan 
Community in a non-AmeriCorp capacity. There was a volleyball game that was open to all the families at Banyan. I thought it was fun to see kids and parents interacting in a more carefree way because all of this took place after programs. I thought it was special to see the families using the space to create our own version of community inside this building. There were people in the kitchen making brownies while the staff and kids played group games in one area, and the parents played each other in volleyball.
When I went home, I realized that this is what my home feels like and that is why I had that warm sense of comfort at Banyan. To be a part of something that feels so organic is rare, and you remember it. There was no pressure to get people to participate or join the game. Games with the youth were flowing, all while the smell of brownies was in the air. This is what a family feels like. This is what my family feels like and I love that I can have the same sense of belonging at Banyan Community."
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:
Mike Wilczynski, Chair
Carol Wolfe, Vice Chair
Trevor Knight, Secretary
Dan Farley, Treasurer
Susan Haffield
Justin Hanratty
Lisa Mauer
Michael O'Keefe
Brian Provost
Jeffrey Wertz
Support Banyan Online
If you like what you've read and want to invest in the work of Banyan, go ahead and click here! Your support is what helps fuel the outcomes and the strong ROI.
National College Signing Day
May 1st is the Deadline to Announce
Article ImageAt Banyan, College Signing Day is a pretty big deal! Staff are decked out in gear from their alma maters as inspiration for all Banyan youth. The photographer (with lights!) comes to document the event! Our seniors ceremoniously sign their commitment to the college they will be attending in the fall. Banyan youth have an average of 3 college acceptances each! 
We are so proud of our six hard working seniors and are inspired by the bright futures ahead of them. These kids are going to leave a mark on the world - get ready....
Manny - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Miriam - Aveda Institute
Jasmine - Augsburg University
Elvis - Dunwoody Technical College
Eric - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Estafani - Augsburg University
Former First Lady Michelle Obama describes College Signing Day as a way “to inspire every student across the country to pursue and complete a postsecondary degree, whether at a traditional 4-year college, a 2-year community college or through an industry-recognized training program.”
Banyan Calculates ROI
Wilder Research Conducts Study of Impact
Article ImageSince our founding, we have established a strong record of accountability within the community and among those who participate in Banyan. This bond extends beyond trust, to results.
Banyan hired Wilder Research to perform a study that would determine the societal return on investment (ROI) that our work fostered based on the youth who have graduated from high school in our first 20 years. The research concluded that Banyan’s ROI per youth yields a benefit:cost ratio of 8:1. For every $1 invested in Banyan, $8 is returned to society! The total aggregate benefit from the educational achievement of the 66 Banyan youth in the study is estimated at $4.2 million. This is derived from increased lifetime after tax earnings, savings from avoided future crime, savings in health care costs, and increased government revenues from taxes. Participation in Banyan has substantial impact.
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Banyan Leadership Breakfast Recap
Thank You!
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Friday, April 13th was an educational day that included networking as we hosted our 7th annual Leadership Breakfast. One of the goals of the event was to share the challenges and opportunities 1st generation leaders face – and the need for building bridges. The panel of professionals and youth delivered!
Tim McNiff moderated a fabulous conversation on leadership, barriers, and opportunities. Alvin Abraham provided the statistics on the correlation between zip code and access to a quality education. Minnesota has the worst achievement gap between black and white students among the entire nation. Kolu Wilson shared a valuable distinction between the role of mentoring and sponsoring future leaders. We need to do both, but sponsoring actually brings people to the table to participate in the conversation. Sharon Smith-Akinsanya challenged guests to expand their circles to include folks different from you. It is through these exchanges that you can gain a broader perspective. The result can be an ability to Lead Out Loud. 
Jason and Walter shared stories of the opportunities they've received from Banyan and the impact it has had for them and their family. They are on track to graduate with degrees from the University of St. Thomas.
We are confident guests walked away with a greater understanding of how they can play a role in building leaders. Thank you for your support of our work!
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Banyan College Youth
Networking at the Leadership Breakfast
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The Banyan Leadership Breakfast was a wonderful place to network with guests and Banyan college youth - our future leaders. To aid in the process we showcased each of the 16 youth who were in attendance with a large board telling their story - university, major, clubs, activities, dream job, and favorite quote. It was a wonderful way to learn about their accomplishments and connect for informational interviews, internships, or mentoring.
Banyan youth made a direct connection with over 60 guests and exchanged business cards to further the conversation. These connections have led to mentors and internships for a few youth! If you met a Banyan youth and want to follow up - we can connect you!
David's Story
A video story celebrating our first 20 years
Article ImageKim Insley, former anchor of the KARE 11 “Sunrise” show, shared her incredible storytelling skills by creating, filming, and producing a video for Banyan.
The video tells the story of David - a Banyan youth in his third year at the University of St. Thomas - and the impact of Banyan for him and his family. It is a wonderful celebration of Banyan's first 20 years with a look to the future. 
Sit back, turn your volume up, and enjoy David's Story.
Tell us Your Banyan Story
What Does Banyan Mean to You?
Article ImageThe milestone of 20 years of developing youth, strengthening families, and creating community has us looking at old photographs, reliving memories, and retelling stories that form the Banyan story. We'd like to add yours to the fabric of our history!
Send us a note telling us the story of how you came to engage with Banyan, your favorite memory of a Banyan event, or the changes and growth you've seen over the first 20 years. We will be using these stories at our Annual Dinner in the fall. 
Banyan Family Celebration
It's Spring When the Carnival Comes to Banyan
Article ImageMay brings the end of the school year, graduation, and the annual carnival at Banyan!
The Banyan Family Celebration is one of our quarterly gathering events to build community through shared experiences. Parents, kids, and staff all enjoyed the traditional carnival filled with a bouncy house, sno cones, face painting, carnival games with prizes and a magician!
Creating memories and traditions are an important part of building community. Banyan youth and families have years and years of amazing carnival memories!
GEN Children's Charity Golf Open
Supporting Banyan
Article ImageIn celebration of our first 20 years Banyan will be the beneficiary of a golf tournament! We will be teeing off at the Minneapolis Golf Club on Monday, July 16th.
GEN Children's Charity has been hosting a charity golf outing every two years for over a decade. This year, Banyan is the charity partner for the event.
If you are interested in supporting the event with sponsorship/golfing, a silent auction item, or a donation of wine for a wine pull, please contact Sue or visit our website for more details!

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Address postal inquiries to:
Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404