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Club profile: Paper Pals

The Paper Pals board from left to right: Maxine Phong, Lily Mahmud, Payton Katchanon, Kylie Sadsad, Katherine Guan, Justine Romero, and Dylan Jade Robles. All photography by Rebekah Grace de Guzman

Every other Tuesday during lunch nestled near the back of the school in room B3, the Paper Pals club meets. This newly established club dedicates itself to teaching others the “magic of origami” and how it brings kindness. Every meeting overflows with origami experts and beginners alike, each eager to create and master their craft.

The first few meetings of the year went without a hitch, introducing club members to the standard folds every origamist needs to learn. The goal of these meetings was to make a fox, which was chosen via voting from the previous meeting. Due to the nature of the craft, most beginners struggled, but eventually prevailed due to assistance from the board members and each other: cementing the club’s additional goal of making friendships with others. The beauty of each new art piece is shown at the end of every meeting when club members will take the origami they made during that day’s activity and gift it to another member.

Club president Dylan Jade Robles (she/her) finds that the aspect of generosity origami creates is one of the reasons she felt called to make Paper Pals. She remembers times when she would make origami hearts or flowers and hand them out to people, and how much she felt their heartfelt appreciation. But she iterates that origami is not only for others, but also for yourself. When asked what impact she wants to make via Paper Pals: “I want to give people another coping mechanism for stress… or a way to release people’s creativity.”

Dylan and the Paper Pals board plan to have club members teach their choice of a diagram or origami instructions. Later activities of the year consist of ornaments for Christmas and flowers for Valentine’s Day. On the horizon are collaborations with organizations such as The Wishing Crane Project, whose goal is to give origami cranes to hospital and hospice patients to symbolize hope and optimism. Within our Eagle Rock High School community, the club is planning to work with Bridges and the Asian American Heritage Club as well.

The future is looking up for this club and its journey in origami and togetherness. If you’re interested in the feel-good fun that Paper Pals offer, you can reach out to their sponsor Mrs. Stough, check them out on Instagram, or join the Remind (text @erhspap to 81010) to keep in touch!

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