We were delighted to celebrate our 25th anniversary at this year’s annual Banyan Dinner! Donors and partners joined parents, youth, neighbors, and staff in commemorating this important community milestone. Over the past 25 years, Banyan Community has worked and learned alongside youth and families to transform lives and close opportunity gaps!

“April arrives and it seems anything is possible. The Banyan story is equally remarkable. From a room in the basement of the Essenburg home to a rented house to an empty church to this beautiful new building, the Banyan co-founders had a vision that was realized through an extraordinary community effort. An outcome as rare and excellent as this is only achieved when individuals—each one of you here in this room—come together in pursuit of educational opportunity, personal empowerment, social and economic justice, and, above all, the common good.” -Carl Schlueter

Our 25th Anniversary theme is “Still Rooted, Rising, and Reaching.” This twenty-five-year milestone is a testament to Banyan’s commitment to provide quality programming focused on supporting youth in our community. Banyan youth graduate from high school and pursue college and career. Families invest in building a hopeful vision for the future. Community members come together to make the neighborhood a better place to live. We are grateful for everyone who has been part of the still-unfolding Banyan story and for all those who have supported us along the way.

The Banyan Dinner showcased a delicious progressive dinner throughout the building. Guests explored rooms and enjoyed organic conversations with staff, youth, and other guests. The evening concluded with a presentation in the gym by two speakers: Carl Schlueter, Banyan Executive Director, and Diamond Jackson, Banyan Alum and current Secondary Program Manager.

“Without a doubt, the biggest benefit of Banyan has been the relationships I have formed over many years of programs… I can remember how people made me feel. I can’t remember a time when Banyan staff didn’t make me feel empowered, safe, and cared for. Having Banyan as a safe place helped me to grow and take positive risks.” -Diamond Jackson

Thank you for celebrating this very special occasion with us!