Congratulations to IMPACTO for being awarded the Women Helping Youth grant. The grant will help IMPACTO continue to provide gymnastics programing to local youth by providing much needed equipment.
The gymnastics program has been a staple of the Pico Aliso Recreation Center for the past 29 years. We offer training to over 100 youth in the community with a waiting list of youth wanting to join the program. In a neighborhood where limited opportunities are available for youth it is important for opportunities like these continue to be available.
We thank Women Helping Youth for helping to continue this treasured program. The grant will help replace old equipment as well as provide opportunities for higher level gymnastics that would not be possible with the current equipment.
Here are just some of the amazing success stories to come out of the program:
Dalila Diaz, learned gymnastics as a child by attending the Aliso Pico program, where she is now the instructor. Dalila shared proudly her most touching story. David V. was Dalila’s very first toddler to attend her classes. He actively participated in Pico Aliso gymnastics over 10 years and is currently in the Junior Swimming Olympic team. His mother attributes his conditioning, flips and jumps to the training he received in the gymnastics program as a child.
After 7 years of active participation and commitment to the Aliso Pico gymnastics program, student Carlos “Charlie” H. was offered a gymnastics teaching position with Los Angeles Parks and Recreation. Charlie is a perfect example of community building. He is a positive male role to other young men and is truly paying forward all the lessons he learned through gymnastics instructor Dalila Diaz.
Student Kelly R. recently graduated in 2015 from Roosevelt High and has continued her education at California State University San Bernardino where she is putting her 3 years of Pico Aliso Gymnastics experience to the test in cheerleading. Her team recently went to Nationals where it was highly noted for her strong tumbling and acrobatic skills that she attributes to her gymnastics classes.
Gabriela P. joined the Pico Aliso gymnastics program over 7 years ago. Her mother came to the park in desperation as her daughter was struggling with stomach related health problems. Gabriela is very tall in stature she was always ashamed of her height and slender built. After active participation in the Gymnastics program Gabriela was able to build confidence and self- esteem she lacked. She is currently one of the first to volunteer to demonstrate gymnastics lessons and is a true example of the program’s goals.
Makyla V. joined gymnastics as a last resort due to her struggles with asthma. Makyla joined the Aliso Pico gymnastics program 4 years ago. The classes are offered indoors, so her mother urged her to try it out. Makyla is thriving in class. She is no longer using her inhaler and truly attributes her health abilities due to the work done in class. Makyla is a remarkable young lady who is truly making great achievements.
Last but certainly not least is the success story of Jasmine and Azucena L. These two young ladies immigrated to California from Nicaragua in 2010. The family came as refugees after experiencing the horrible sights of war in their native country. The family was desperate to find an outlet for the girls as they were struggling socially and experiencing such difficulties immersing in school and community. The girls were so impacted they stopped talking. The family was referred to the gymnastics program at Aliso Pico. They joined the summer quarter program in 2012 and 5 years later they have made such growth. Both are committed, active, verbal and so sweet and supportive to other students. Their past does not claim power over them anymore. The family attributes the growth based on the gymnastics instruction they have received. They are truly grateful for the skills and development that has been paved through the program.