North Tulsa Non-Profit Moves Into New Gym Facility

Tuesday, September 3rd 2013, 10:40 pm
By: Tess Maune

A Green Country non-profit is helping take North Tulsa kids to new heights. Aim High Academy has been making gymnastics an affordable sport for kids for six years now.

The program started in 2007, at The John 3:16 Family and Youth Center, with no students. Since then, the academy has grown - and outgrown - several locations.

Tuesday, the founder cut the ribbon a new place that she says will help impact many more children.

The little things in life bring 5-year-old Jadyn Wilson joy.

"I get to practice with the big girls and I get to warm up with them and I'm having really fun at gymnastics," said Jadyn.

She's been a gymnast for a few years now, a love she learned from her role model: her big sister.

Jadyn Wilson: "She's really passionate in herself and, like, whatever's hard for her, she can just go for it."
Reporter Tess Maune: "Do you have that same kind of will power and motivation?"
Jadyn Wilson: "I feel like it."

Jadyn is one of about 215 kids enrolled in the Aim High Academy gymnastics program, a program that now has a beautiful new home.

"We are moving from a 4,000-square-foot facility to a 21,000-square-foot facility that God has blessed us with," said Jennifer Patterson.

Patterson founded the academy with a mission to provide opportunities for North Tulsa children.

"We are doing that through the sport of gymnastics that has evolved into so much more. We also offer tutoring and we offer mentoring," she said.

"It makes her feel empowered as a young lady, that she can control her body, that she can do flips and tumbles, so she's very happy to do it, and learning who she is, and it helps give her a better since of herself," said parent Sondra Holt.

Part of Patterson's plan is to give her students faith in both a higher power and themselves, and her young athletes are listening.

Jadyn said her goal is to make it to the Olympics.

To reach that goal, she said, "You got to work really hard, you got to do your best, you always have to try by yourself, you got to work your hardest."

The academy coaches children from ages 3 to 13. It runs primarily off donations, although there is a small fee, between $20 and $35 a month.

The founder says the building's owner offered the entire facility to the academy for half the price, because he knew it was for a good cause.

Get more information on Aim High Academy here.