Banyan Buzz
January 2019
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
Calendar of Events
Black History Month
February 2019
Valentine's Day
Thursday, Feb 14th
We are grateful for the love and joy you share with Banyan!
Hey Banyan! Book Club
Watch your email for more information.
Leadership Breakfast
Friday, April 12th
7:00 - 9:00 am
  • Come to Banyan for a lively discussion on leadership, connections, and urban America.
  • Interested in sponsoring the event? Contact us for details.
College Decision Day
Wednesday, May 1st
Auld Lang Syne
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Banyan is blessed with a hard-working and dedicated Board of Directors. It is bittersweet to have a few members roll off every year to make room for new members.
We celebrated and said goodbye to two outstanding board members at our last meeting. 
Shout out to Brian Provost and Trevor Knight - thank you for your service to Banyan! 
Banyan is pleased to welcome Judy Pennington, Heidi Thorson, Tom Hubler, and Stanley Jackson to the Board of Directors as the Class of 2023 and 2024. 
Annual Report
Did Yours Arrive?
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The Annual Report is like taking a trip down memory lane. It is a chance to reflect on and highlight the past year's accomplishments. It is also a chance to thank YOU for your support of Banyan.
The reports were mailed to the address we have on file for you before the holidays. If you did not receive yours or would like another - let us know!
Star Tribune Covers Banyan
Banyan Helps Bridge Gap
Article ImageThanks to Neal St. Anthony, Business Reporter, for sharing the impact of our work with Star Tribune readers. 
You can read more about how Banyan works by having youth, family, and community linked together in complementary program strategies by clicking here.
The article mentions Wilder Research study findings that society receives $8 in benefits for every $1 invested in a Banyan youth. Banyan invests nearly $47,000 per child over an average of nine years of program participation.
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
Michael O'Keefe, Secretary
Susan Haffield, Treasurer
Dan Farley
Justin Hanratty
Tom Hubler
Stanley Jackson
Lisa Mauer
Judy Pennington
Heidi Thorson
Jeffrey Wertz
Support Banyan Online
Banyan accepts donations online! This is a convenient and secure way to support the work of Banyan. Give it a try!
Happy New Year!
2019 Brings Opportunity
Article ImageOur New Year and January greetings are arriving in February thanks to the polar vortex that recently visited (and shut down much of) Minnesota. 
Looking ahead at 2019 we are excited about the opportunities. We are investing in: strategic growth, our staff, and building infrastructure for the future.
The investment in youth, families, and community are what bring about transformation in the Phillips neighborhood of south Minneapolis.
At Banyan, winter brings Kids Club and a trip to Roller Gardens. We celebrate graduations in the spring, and summer will be filled with Cool Off Days, camps, and block parties. Fall will bring new preschoolers and more elementary and middle schoolers into programs. We thank you so much for your engagement and support. Banyan is blessed to have faithful donors walk along with us as we grow and bring new friends to join us. 
Proud of Our Seniors
College Acceptances Pouring In
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Wow - look at all these options! Our 7 seniors have some tough decisions to make this spring. Stay tuned for updates on their plans. #prayers
Kids Club 2019
Love God, Love Your Neighbor
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We kicked off another Kids Club with over 60 kids in attendance. Kids Club is the 'original' and longest running Banyan program and a favorite of kids and staff. From January through May, Thursday nights are bustling with activities at Banyan. 
The theme for this year is “‘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)
Kids Club teaches youth about Jesus through stories, worship, artistic expression, and prayer in small groups. A goal of the program since its beginning has been that each child in attendance has a caring adult praying with them each week. In this way, youth form trust-based relationships with adults who care for them. A more recent impact of the program has come as youth at Banyan make the transition from being served to serving. Kids Club is often the first volunteer opportunity for many of Banyan’s high school youth: youth begin by finding a mentor and eventually become a mentor to those younger than themselves. The model has come full circle!
Conversation Circles
Minnesota Literacy Council
Article ImageAs a part of our Community Leadership Education and Connection (CLEC) program we kicked off our first series of conversation circles. 
This program is in partnership with the Minnesota Literacy Council to promote intercultural exchange and provide opportunities for adults learning English a forum to practice in an informal, casual setting. At Banyan, non-native-English-speaking parents are paired with a native-English-speaking trained volunteer for an hour-long conversation. 
Middle School Resolutions
Youth Pause to Reflect and Plan
Article ImageAt the beginning of the new year, our middle school youth paused to reflect on the first half of their school year and make plans for the second half. At Banyan, middle school is a time to think about and plan for the future, including setting academic and personal goals and beginning to plan for college and career.
Each youth made a mobile with a self portrait, their top 5 personal goals, and 4 academic goals. They decorate the middle school classroom as a visual reminder of goals.
Future Oriented: We are discerning beyond our years, by making plans into the future. We are goal oriented and see the outcomes of our decisions.  
What Youth Are Saying
About Banyan
Article ImageIt is said that truth comes from the mouths of children - we couldn't agree more with that sentiment! Here are a few things our youth recently had to say:
  • "Normally I don’t really like this stuff (science lessons), but I loved this! When can we do this again?” 
  • “It’s fun to come to a place where I can complete my homework with my friends.”
  • “Banyan is a place where I feel safe and supported. They create an environment where I can advocate for myself and gives me something to look forward to after school.”
  • “I want to be a therapist and Banyan has taught me that I am going to need to study hard and attend college.”
  • “I know I have Banyan’s support which encourages me. They not only support me in school, but in my everyday life. I know I can count on them!
  • “Banyan has taught me that I have a voice which I can use to stand up for myself and what’s right. This is an important skill to maintain as I am going into high school.”
  • "It’s so FUN to help out our community."
  • “I know I have a bright future because of the high quality schools I am applying to.”
DeLaSalle Honor Roll
Banyan Youth Represent!
Article ImageDeLaSalle High School recognized students for their academic success in the first semester of the 2018-19 school year. For their scholastic achievement, students can achieve two honors: High Honor Roll (semester grade point average of 3.8 or better) or Honor Roll (semester grade point average of 3.0 to <3.8).
Eleven of our youth (50%) made the list! Miguel is pictured as one of our 9th graders who made the High Honor Roll - congratulations!

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