Reflecting on our work at Banyan Community

In this season of giving, reflecting, and coming together, I am calling to mind a paraphrased passage from a book I recently read, “Most of us are searching for the same place, a place some of us have never been, a place called community.” At Banyan, we come together in community, inclusive of diverse backgrounds and experiences, inspired by a common set of values, and in pursuit of a shared mission. At the heart of our holistic approach is the belief we can address the complex problem of poverty by removing barriers to educational opportunities for our youth. And by coming together as partners, neighbors, parents, and educators, we have.

I have heard it said that strategic plans are a way of organizing hope. Midway through our strategic plan, co-created with our community, we are on track to achieve our goals in the areas of youth, family, community, and organizational culture. Our progress has moved at the pace of trust and, when necessary, courage. This year Banyan revitalized our parent group, continued STEM-based after school lessons and exploratory camps, strengthened mental health support, established a neighborhood garden, and fostered cross-cultural relationships—realizing the full promise of our mission and vision. Organizing hope is challenging work, but we are transforming our hopes into life-changing realities by leveraging the assets of our entire community.

I want to thank each of you for supporting us in our growth and success. Our deep and lasting impact is the result of the steadfast commitment and generous contributions of so many who believe in what we do. As we look back at the end of our 25th anniversary year, we recognize and celebrate our collective efforts and accomplishments. We are also looking to the future with excitement for the next 25 years. Each of you is an integral part of this organization, and we thank you for your support!

Be a part of our efforts to create a meaningful impact, and together, let us invest in 2024! A generous financial gift develops youth, strengthens families, and creates community. By supporting Banyan, you contribute to the educational enrichment and social emotional support of our youth, while also leveraging the leadership among our parents and community. As we are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations are tax-deductible, and we are incredibly thankful to you for your financial support. We understand there are many causes to be behind, and we are genuinely grateful you have chosen to support us. Together, we can make a significant difference in the lives of those we serve!

Carl Schlueter,
Executive Director