Confidence, Faith Grow At Tulsa Gymnastics School

Wednesday, April 8th 2009, 5:37 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A gymnastics school started inside Tulsa's John 3:16 Mission has grown to serve more than 100 children in North Tulsa.

It's a business rooted in faith for the woman who started it.

Jennifer Patterson believes gymnastics can be a ministry. She believes training children to do what they thought was impossible, builds both their confidence and faith.

"When they have accomplished something they didn't think they could do, that's a powerful lesson for a child to learn. When they think they can't do something, by the grace of God he has given us the ability to do it and when I see that in a kid, that's priceless," said Jennifer Patterson, Aim High Academy.

She knows something about faith. Two years ago, she decided to start a gymnastics school in a North Tulsa homeless shelter. Now she's taking her students on the road where they're doing well in competition.

"Coming to North Tulsa was on purpose. I definitely wanted to be in this area and give kids an opportunity to take part in something that wasn't in their community before, something new and something unique," said Patterson.

Marisha Sells has two children in class at Aim High.

"It's just nice to have something like this in the community and considering that my children need it for the fitness, I felt like it's a great opportunity and Miss Jennifer is great," said Sells.

Patterson and her assistant teach classes five days a week and each one ends with prayer because she wants to pass athletic skill and faith too.

"This is so much more rewarding for me. It was just a decision I made," said Patterson. "I thought ‘where can I make the most difference?'"

Two of the Aim High students won first place in the all around competition at a recent meet in Stillwater.

The school hopes to expand, especially to include boy.