Banyan Buzz
January, 2016
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 attempt 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
Hey Banyan!
Tuesday, March 1
4:30 - 6 pm
CRAVE, West End
Business Leaders Breakfast
Thursday, April 14th
7:30 - 8:30 am
Banyan Community
Hey Banyan!
Wednesday, May 11
7:30 - 9 am
Location TBD
Hey Banyan!
Wednesday, September 14
4:30 - 6pm
Location TBD
Hey Banyan! is an informal opportunity to learn more about the work and impact of Banyan. It is a wonderful event to bring friends and colleagues to learn in a casual, community setting.
Banyan Scholars 
Over Dinner!
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A group of Banyan Scholars met at Banyan over their holiday break to check in with staff and catch up with each other. They then headed out for dinner together to share their college experiences with one another.
Banyan Scholars are the college youth that Banyan supports. The program focuses on four key elements:
- Connecting Banyan students with qualified mentors who support them through college.
- Helping parents navigate college systems.
- Providing training and intervention to ensure that students maintain consistent enrollment through graduation.
- Career preparation through planning and internships
Want to be a mentor? We are looking for a few mentors for college junior and seniors. We try to match based on career path and skills. Let us know if you're interested in learning more! 
In the News!
Star Tribune Features Banyan
The Business section of the Sunday, December 20th paper reported the 20th Annual Nonprofit 100 list. Reporter Neal St. Anthony worte a story about nonprofits that are expanding and growing after a difficult economic climate. The piece highlights the strong leadership and fiscal management required to come out the recession strong and healthy. 
It was an honor to be recognized publically and thank YOU for making it possible! You can read the full story here: Renewal Through Growth
The Gavel is Passed
Banyan Board votes Provost as next Chair
The Banyan Board of Directors gave thanks and honored outgoing chair, Kyle Didier at the December meeting. Kyle served as Board Chair for the past four years - a very signficant time for Banyan; the launch of our first capital campaign, purchase of land, and the start of construction on a permanent home.
The Board unanimously elected Brian Provost as the next Board Chair. Brian brings great business experience, particularly in 'taking the big next step'.
Brian is passionate about the work of Banyan and the scalability and sustainability of the model. He says, "it's time for me to step up and provide my skills, time, and energy to help Banyan take the next step."
Banyan also welcomes Mike Wilczynski to the board. "I could not have made it without my equivalent of Banyan, and I look forward to the opportunity to help provide that support and opportunity to others."
We are looking for new board committee members to share their business and leadership talents with Banyan, let us know if your interested in learning more.
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
Sheila Jones, Vice Chair
Sue Jensen, Secretary
Dan Farley, Treasurer
Trevor Knight
Barry Lieske
Ayo Olawole
Mark Schulze
David Tynes
Mike Wilczynski
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!
Happy New Year!
Joani's reflection
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It’s January and already this New Year is blowing me away! It is a joy to see how a vision turns into reality as ideas that were on paper are now walls and a building. But more importantly a place is being created that will enhance relationships with youth, families and community. 
This year is a new year and a new home for Banyan. It is a year that we are learning, growing, connecting, and creating a new future for our community.  
Beautiful (Our new building is beautiful!)
Able (Our donors help us to be able to grow!)
Nearby (We will remain in our current service area!)
Yummy (Looking forward to great treats baked in our new kitchens!)
Anchored (Our permanent home will mean we are a great anchor!)
Neighborly (We look forward to getting to know even more neighbors!)
Honor Roll
Banyan Well Represented
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The DeLaSalle High School honor roll was just published. This honor celebrates academic success in the first semester of the 2015-2016 school year.
Drum roll please......72% of Banyan youth appear on the list.
The High Honor Roll and the Honor Roll recognizes students with a 3.0 GPA or higher for last semester!
Hard work, tutoring, and Banyan's support reaps rewards. Congratulations to all Banyan youth for a outstanding start to the school year!
2015 Wrap Up
Very Grateful
Article ImageBanyan operates on a calendar fiscal year and feels extra blessings at year end. The holidays are a great time of giving and we are thankful that so many share their gifts with Banyan. The notes that accompany gifts always bring smiles, enjoy!
"I love to see this organization helping many in the community because it helps our youth to believe in hope and that they do have a future that is promising."
"God's richest blessings on your ministry.  Truly transformational. Glory to God! Keep on keeping on...."
"Thank you for all you do and I am always happy to support Banyan and get the word out about all you do."
"Our family members each give to a charity at Christmas time and then share with other about what we gave to when we gather.  Banyan is our neighbor and I appreciate what they are doing."
"Old friend"
"Because we Love you all!!"
Schools Out, Banyan is Open
Closing the Achievement Gap
Article ImageWe use school release days throughout the year to overcome the achievement gap, one fun-filled day of learning and community-building at a time.
Programs go year-round with only brief breaks to catch our breath. When the school day ends, we’re just getting started. When the school year wraps up, we’re gearing up for six weeks of summer programs and four different camp sessions! Finally, when schools take a day off for teacher development or record keeping, we take the opportunity to go on field trips and expose Banyan youth to all kinds of special events. 
Between Christmas and New Years, we did take a few days off, but we also packed in a some extra fun, games, food, and a trip to Grand Slam! Northern Clay Center spent an afternoon working with the kids to make their own mug. They have been fired and delivered to Banyan - masterpieces!
Banyan Seniors Love Getting the Mail
College Acceptance Letters are Arriving
Article ImageThis is both an exciting and nerve wracking time of year for high school seniors. Our Banyan seniors worked very hard this fall and completed 37 college applications! An average of six per youth.
As of today, 20 acceptance letters have arrived! Many more are sure to come.
We are very proud of each one of them and their hardwork. They serve as role models for all Banyan youth as they pave the way to college and career. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they apply for scholarships and prepare to make a decision about their next step.
Kids Club
Thursday evening is the highlight of the week!
Article ImageKids Club is the very first program that started out of the Essenburg’s home. It is a Christian faith-based program that all are welcome to join, but not required, on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm, January - May. 
The theme for this year is "God who began a good work in you will bring it to completion" Philippians 1:6   It follows our theme of being “under construction” as we make changes in our lives each day. 
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 that 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! 
Often on Thursday evenings you can hear cheers throughout the building as Kids Club begins!  It is indeed an exciting time at Banyan.
2529 13th Ave S
Update on Construction
Article ImageThe basement is dug and the floor poured, gas and water are in, and the walls are going up fast! Banyan youth take a field trip every week to check on progress and meet with the project Superintendent.
Our youth have learned so much about plans, construction, and the variety of equipment needed - hard hats and safety vests are a bonus!
The project is on schedule and estimated to be complete and ready for move in this summer! Your support and prayers made this possible - thank you!
Follow the progress on Instagram  or slow down on your drive west on 26th Ave. between 14th and 13th Ave.

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Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404