Banyan Buzz
July, 2015
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
Growing Responsibly Celebration
Tuesday, July 28
4 -7 pm
Sonora Grill
3300 E Lake St, Mpls
National Night Out
Tuesday, August 4
Groundbreaking Ceremony
Tuesday, September 15
Time to be determined (afternoon)
2529 13th Ave S, Mpls
Annual Banyan Dinner
Sunday, November 15
5 - 8 pm
St Mary's University Center
2500 Park Ave, Mpls
250 New Signs Installed
Lighthouse Network
Article Image Banyan staff are door knocking this summer with a goal of meeting 250 new neighbors and enrolling them in the Lighthouse Network (LHN).
Members of the LHN hang a sign in their window and make this pledge:
By posting this sign our household is committed to getting to know our neighbors and keeping our community safe.
Welcome Jake
AmeriCorps Promise Fellow
Article Image Banyan is participating in the AmeriCorp program to build capacity and is proud to welcome Jake to our team. He will be working with middle school youth alongside Katie Kirk as a Secondary Educator. Jake is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Psychology. He brings a great energy and passion to his role working with youth and has been welcomed with open arms by the middle schoolers.
United Way supports Banyan
Youth Gain Experiences to Learn, Lead and Succeed
Article Image The Greater Twin Cities United Way approved nine new organizations for funding as a part of a three-year $40 million investment in nonprofits. Banyan Community was one of the nine! United Way Senior Vice President of Community Impact Meghan Barp says, “We are focusing on programs making the greatest impact on the staggering disparities in our community. We placed culturally specific organizations and cultural competency at the core of our expectations for grant applicants. We believe that engaging our community in the broadest sense is central to the success of these investments.”
Double Your Impact to Double the Youth
Matching Gift Challenge Met!
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The Rose Francis Foundation offered a very generous matching gift challenge to raise $200,000 in new gifts by July 15th and they would be matched dollar for dollar.

Thank you for helping Banyan meet the challenge!

There is still time to support the capital campaign that will allow  Banyan to add more youth.
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:
Kyle Didier, Chair
Sheila Jones, Vice Chair
Sue Jensen, Secretary
Sven Wehrwein, Treasurer
Dan Farley
Trevor Knight
Barry Lieske
Ayo Olawole
Brian Provost
Mark Schulze
David Tynes
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!
Schedule Your Recurring Gift Today
Why give this way? Consistency! Predictablity!  A recurring gift is a "Living Endowment" which can be used to develop youth, strengthen families, and create community.
Recurring gifts (either bank draft or credit card) provide Banyan with consistent and predictable monthly funding to support our programming. Sign up now!
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Cool Off Days
A summer of exploring, learning, and dreaming
Article Image For five weeks every summer we pack in the fun at Banyan! Cool Off Days nurtures curiosity which incites learning, and prevents the academic summer slide.
The elementary youth focus on a different theme each week. During Superhero week they looked into the science of superpowers with several experiments, each youth made a comic book with the help of MN Book Arts, and explored their own superpowers and impact they have in the world! Fact or Fiction week focused on mythbusting with more science experiments, and a study of literary genres, and how fictional work can be empowering.
The middle school youth
spend their summer on field trips learning about several career opportunities, local landmarks and history, and doing service projects in the community. They will also spend a week building a 'boombox in a bucket' as a part of Tronix.
Many high school and college youth are employees at Banyan during the summer. They develop leadership skills and learn how to be a responsible employee while serving as mentors and role models to the youth.
Growing Responsibly Celebration
$4.75 Million Raised For Our New Home
Article Image To celebrate the success of the capital campaign thus far, Banyan is hosting a Thank You celebration on Tuesday, July 28th at Sonora Grill (3300 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis) from 4 - 7 pm.
When the campaign launched in 2013, we committed to the monumental task of building a permanent home for the Banyan Community. Through your support this vision is now becoming a reality. The construction of our new home will begin this fall and will be completed in late spring of 2016. 
Our new home will serve as a catalyst to provide additional programing and participation in support of our mission; “Transforming lives by developing youth, strengthening families, and creating community.”   
Your generosity is cause for celebration!  Plan to join us to celebrate the campaign's progress and feel our gratitude! RSVP so we can be prepared for you!
Banyan Family Carnival
A Celebration of School and Summer
Article Image The annual carnival is a highlight for Banyan families and is one of four gatherings hosted by Banyan to bring families together to create memories, connections, and traditions.
May 14th may have been rainy outside, but at Banyan it was sunny inside! Over 200 people came together to celebrate the end of a successful school year, eight high school graduates, and the beginning of summer.
Everyone enjoyed a wonderful meal, carnival games, prizes, face painting, spin art, cake walk, a bouncy house to work of some extra energy, balloon animals, and a photo booth to capture the memories.
Higher Ground Scholarships Awarded
Summer Academy underway!
Article Image Based on their potential to rise, participation at Banyan, an application and essays, 8 additional Banyan youth recieved a Higher Ground Scholarship to attend DeLaSalle High School this fall. This brings the total to 26 Higher Ground Scholars! The scholarship also enables them to participate in full tutoring and support through Banyan's ASPIRE! program. The combination of an excellent education plus support results in Banyan youth that are positioned for success when entering college.
Summer Academy is a program that was developed based on our 15+ years of experience in transitioning youth to a college preparatory high school. The program is tailored for our incoming 9th graders to ensure their success. Summer academy meets every Thursday all summer (except when they are at camp!) to work on math, reading, and science skills. These sessions definately give Banyan youth a leg up when they begin high school!
New this summer are weekly sessions with Dr. Kay focused on English, grammar, and literature. Dr. Kay is an English teacher at DeLaSalle who is eager to give of his time and talent to the youth of Banyan.
Summer Camp, a Staple in MN!
Banyan youth leave the city behind
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Banyan provides camp opportunities to youth starting in 3rd grade, a unique and valued experience for urban youth. Participating in residential camp is a wonderful way to open doors for young people and offer new opportunities to expand horizons and perspectives. Banyan youth experience more opportunities to take positive risks in one week of camp than one year in the n'hood!
Our elementary youth and high school junior counselors head to Silver Birch Ranch in early August for a week of teamwork, leadership, and critical problem solving in the great outdoors!
The middle school youth leave soon for Camp Amnicon for a wilderness adventure in canoes! They will experience confidence and community, grace and grit!
Several high school youth will be learning, exploring, and living on college campuses this summer! They are taking part in college-based enrichment programs including: MN Business Venture camp, Songwriters camp, and Scrubs camp on the campuses of Augsburg College, St. John's University, St. Cloud State University, and University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.
The incoming college freshman participate in an adventurous wilderness camp designed to help prepare them for their college experience. Portage includes canoeing, portaging, and camping in the rustic and awe-inspiring Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Graduates and Families meet Sponsors
To Celebrate and Say Thank You!
Article Image Banyan high school graduates (recipients of the Higher Ground Scholarship) and their parents finally get to meet their sponsors for lunch! For four years sponsors have known the first name of their student and have received notes and progess updates from them. The student has only known of them as their 'sponsor', the mysterious and magical person/couple that make their high school opportunity possible.
The lunch meeting is always a heartwarming experience. The pride in the graduate from both parents and sponsor is tremendous. Parents are grateful for the opportunity to thank the sponsor in person for the transformational gift they have provided. 
At a recent lunch the sponsor was an alumni from the university the graduate will be attending! The stories the sponsor/alumni shared about his experience, the campus, and specific classes were soaked up by the graduate.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a sponsor, email Sue.
Meal Made with LOVE
as a Surprise!
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The grill was smokin' in the courtyard on Tuesday, May 26 when the Banyan parents prepared a surprise dinner for the staff to say thank you!  It was a delicious event that was completely organized, funded, and home-made by Banyan parents.  A gym full of parents, youth, and staff all ate dinner together and enjoyed each other’s company.  Banyan families are very involved in the work of Banyan—working alongside staff to ensure that youth are surrounded by an environment of support, through the encouragement and investment of the adults in the community. Together we are creating a strong community and that IS worth celebrating!!

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