A North Tulsa nonprofit held a grand opening for its new facility Tuesday, giving more than 200 kids a place to grow through gymnastics.
Jennifer Patterson, Executive Director of AIM High Academy, founded the program in 2007 while working with urban youth in North Tulsa.
"We were mostly working with 13, 14 year olds and what we began to notice is that by that time in life, there are so many destructive patterns of behavior they were in," Patterson said. "Many of the boys had police records, some the girls had made poor decisions."
Patterson said she wanted to combine her two passions -- gymnastics and North Tulsa -- and came up with the idea for AIM High Academy.
The nonprofit set up shop at the John 3:16 Mission, where it has operated for the past several years.
From a 4,000 sq. ft. facility, AIM High now occupies a 21,000 sq. ft. building that was unveiled on 4728 Charles Page Blvd. in North Tulsa Tuesday evening.
"It will allow us to not only serve more kids in the community, but to expand our programming as well," Patterson said.
Along with gymnastics for about 200 youths ranging in age from 3 to 13, the program also provides tutoring and mentoring.
In the future, Patterson said they hope to add music classes and fitness programs for parents.
"I've seen kids come through our doors who could barely walk in a straight line and now they're doing flips on the balance beams," Patterson said. "Kids who came in with not a whole lot of confidence become state champions."
Anyone within a North Tulsa zip code can call to get their child enrolled at 918-296-4668.
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