Banyan Buzz
November 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
Christmas Day
December 25
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Winter Break/
School Release Days
Banyan has fun activities and enrichment planned for youth over the winter break.
Banyan Year End
Monday, December 31
Help spread the word about the impact Banyan is having in the Phillips neighborhood to help ensure we end the year strong!
College Planning
Seven Seniors to Graduate
Article ImageOur College and Career Counselor, Demaya Walton, has been hard at work coaching our seven seniors on college plans.
Each senior submitted applications to at least five colleges by the November 1st deadline! So far youth have acceptance letters from: University of MN Rochester, Hamline University, St. Mary’s University, Minnesota State University - Mankato, St. Cloud State University, Century College, Concordia (St. Paul), North Dakota State University, University of Kansas, University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa.
We couldn't be more proud! Scholarship applications and FAFSA paperwork are next on the list as we provide guidance through the selection process.
Stay tuned!
20 Years Strong!
Help Us At Year End
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Our fiscal year (and 20th year) is coming to a close on December 31st. Our annual budget of $1,655,000 relies on your support to develop youth, strengthen families, and create community.
There is no financial cost to families to participate at Banyan - the currency we work with is engagement. Participation in events, attendance of youth, number of home visits, etc. are a few measures of successful engagement.
Banyan has much to celebrate this year - measuring the impact of our work ($8:1 return on investment), bringing more youth and families into programs, launching a preschool, piloting adult education, and so much more!
We are grateful for your  financial gifts to Banyan that  ensure our transformational work can continue and position us for added growth in 2019.
Support Banyan Online
Banyan accepts donations online! This is a convenient and secure way to support the work of Banyan. Give it a try!
Singing in the Halls
Preschool Energy Abounds
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The St. David’s Center Early Childhood Education at Banyan Community brings wonderful energy to our building during the day. The kiddos are active, curious, engaged, and taking full advantage of having the place to themselves until 2 pm, when the after school youth start arriving.
Transitions from one place to the next – the classroom to the gym, and back; the classroom to outside, and back, etc. – are managed with song. The kiddos and teachers sing their way everywhere!
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
Judy Pennington
Brian Provost
Heidi Thorson
Jeffrey Wertz
Giving Thanks
For You and All Our Blessings
Article ImageBanyan has so much to be thankful for this year as we reflect on the 20 years of blessings that have grown neighborhood roots and transformed lives.
Having you join us on this journey to develop youth, strengthen families, and create community in the Phillips neighborhood has meant so much to us. Your partnership is critical to the work.
We are blessed that our community and you fuel us to:
  • Provide opportunities for youth to develop leadership skills, engage in positive relationships with peers and adults, and have new experiences.
  • Provide academic support and accountability so that youth can succeed in school and college.
  • Create an environment of support around youth, through the encouragement and investment of the adults in the community.
  • Strengthen families by connecting them to resources and helping them avert crisis and navigate change.
  • Connect neighbors to each other to build a strong community.
Enjoy this short thank you video message! Thank you for believing in Banyan. 
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Annual Dinner
A Celebration of 20 Years
Article ImageWe are so grateful to the 220+ guests who joined us on November 11th to celebrate 20 years of being rooted in our community, and growing our future.
Our First 20 Years history wall was unveiled at the event (photo). It is a visual timeline of Banyan's milestones over the first 20 years. You are welcome to stop by, take a look, and relive the journey.
In our first 20 years, there are several moments that make us most proud - three were shared at the dinner: 
  1. Seeing our Dreams Come True through the eyes of our youth and adults. These dreams became a reality in a large part because of your support.
    • Youth – graduating from high school and now college.
    • Families trusting and making decisions based on input from/partnership with Banyan.
    • Adults leading and learning through our community council, our new adult education model, and employment at Banyan. 
  1. Building our new home – creating a permanent space for our work to flourish.
  2. Measuring our impact. We know Banyan works because we measured it! The research concluded that Banyan’s ROI yields a benefit:cost ratio of 8:1. For every $1 invested in Banyan youth, $8 is returned to society! 
Now that we’ve invested 20 years, what’s next? 
  1. Growing up our youth and families...
  2. Reaching more youth, families, and community members in Phillips, enlarging our circle and stabilizing our community.
  3. Studying what parts of our model might work for other neighborhoods.
The event raised over $170,000 to fund the future! Thank YOU!
We Asked, You Answered
Wordle - Words or Phrases of Banyan
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Guests at the Annual Dinner had a chance to share the words and phrases that come to mind when thinking of Banyan. 
We agree with you and thank you for sharing your insight.
Apples and Pumpkins
Multi-generational Traditions
Article ImageOn a chilly, but sunny, October Saturday, over 240 Banyan youth and families embarked on our annual trip to Afton Apple Orchard. It is one of four Gatherings hosted each year. "Apples" was the first Gathering to include our new preschool families - our family is growing!
Crystal has been a part of Banyan since the first Kids Club in 1997. She was in the first group to go to summer camp, and she was the first Banyan youth to graduate from DeLaSalle with a Higher Ground Scholarship. She and her family are one of a few multi-generational Banyan families - her son now attends preschool at Banyan. She is a real Banyan trend-setter!
The entire Sokuu family - Crystal and her son, husband, and mother (grandma) - made memories riding on a hayride, picking apples, petting animals, and chosing a pumpkin. Strengthening families includes creating memories and building traditions. 
Love God. Love Your Neighbor.
Middle Schoolers Paint and Reflect 
Article ImageArt Workshop happens every year over the MEA break. Banyan middle schoolers work with artist Anne Brink to create their own canvas and a group banner for Banyan.
Brian has this to say about his painting: "My painting represents neighbors saying hi to one another. Neighbors being nice to each other. To me, ‘Love God, Love Your Neighbor’ means being kind and doing something good for your neighbors. This is something I am trying to do with my neighbors. I included a quote from Clemantine Wamariya in my painting: 'We
are all neighbors. Be kind. Be gentle.'"
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
The complete collection goes on tour around the metro and is displayed at churches and workplaces. If you are interested in coordinating an installation of the collection, please contact us to make arrangements.  
Clean Sweep
A Neighborhood Tradition 
Article ImageEvery fall the Phillips neighborhood hosts Clean Sweep, and Banyan youth and families join the cause.
This is one of the service projects our middle school youth participate in every year. They pick up trash around the neighborhood and serve lunch to all the volunteers.
A Banyan youth won the contest for next year's Clean Sweep t-shirt design - congratulations Atlai!
Over 650 neighbors came together and collected*:
  • 41,860 pounds of trash and metal
  • 253 tires, 88 appliances and TVs, 27 mattresses, etc. 
  • 20 lbs of compost from the breakfast and lunch served to volunteers
*Data provided by the Midtown Phillips and East Phillips Neighborhood Associations
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Happy Holidays from the Banyan Staff

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Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404