This year will be remembered as the year of construction, the building of our new home.   The community watched in awe as the hole in the ground led to the foundation, and then came the walls and a roof and all the amazing details to bring together our new home.  Cutting the ribbon brought a new chapter to the life of Banyan.  We also learned this year that we as people are under construction and that the good work that is started in our lives will come to completion.  We understand better that we are moldable individuals that must learn more and reach higher in order to accomplish our goals.

Often times in low income communities, the pressure is to keep low, bury under, lock down, and keep to yourself.  Isolation and fear can be at play in a big way with the high crime and low educational outcomes.  In the midst of this, there is the Banyan Community.  Standing boldly as a group of reconciled people, committed learners, and leading citizens who are future oriented.  We celebrate each other and the new reality that we have with Banyan.

Our Annual Report this year is the story of our year-  the accomplishments, the emerging leaders, the access to opportunity, and the celebration of community.  We are so grateful for the many donors and community members that shared their gifts and talents to bring about a remarkable year.  With a strong foundation, we have much to build on.  Our future is bright because we are all in this together.  A future that holds youth attending high performing schools and making successful transitions in life, parents being supported and strong advocates, and a community that is cohesive and able to navigate challenges.

Thank you for your support in constructing a beautiful home and a supportive community that creates pathways for success.

“God who began a good work…. will bring it to completion” Philippians 1:6

 Joani Essenburg
Co-founder, Executive Director

What does “Banyan” mean?

Banyan-TreeThe word Banyan comes from a Banyan tree. Banyan trees are fig trees with a large center trunk. Long branches send out roots which grow downward into the ground and form new trunks. A grove of trees, or large community, is created around the center trunk; all interconnected.

That is our vision for community! Banyan works by having youth, family and community linked together in complementary program strategies. Banyan has the potential of a 15 year imprint in a child’s life, as programs are developed for every age group of youth from Kindergarten through College. Key core values include: listening to community; developing reciprocal relationships, and implementing best practices.