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16 Year Old Hopes to Inspire Latino Youth to Enjoy Math Through Origami

by Tony Diaz on 12/12/16


Free Origami Workshop for Latino Youth

Who: Origami expert 16 year old Antonio Diaz, a Junior in high school.

What: Free origami workshop, focusing on Latino youth, but open to all 10 to 16 year olds. Space is limited to 15 spaces.

When: Saturday December 16, 2016, 2p-3p.

Where: Nuestra Palabra Arts and Books, Home of Pancho Clause. 333. S. Jensen, Houston, TX 77003, inside Talento Bilingue de Houston.

Why: This is a great chance for students to learn how to make unique Christmas gifts and also begin fostering an appreciation for Math.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to rsvp to secure a participant's space. Send the child's name and age, and the parent or guardian name and cell phone number to Tony@NuestraPalabra.org or call (713) 867-8943.

All participants must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.


Houston, TX. Monday, December 12, 2016.
Last year, 16 year old Antonio Diaz was a Sophomore taking a Calculus class, tutoring Seniors.

Of course, his school is known for Science and Math; however, it is rare for Sophomores to be helping older students, and it also turns out, it might be rare for Latino students to be focused on pure Math.

When Antonio attended one of his first Math Competitions, he  was once asked if he was really Latino. He answered, "Yes, "I'm Chicano and Chileno, why?" The other student responded, "There just aren't that many Latinos who come to this."

"I realized early in school that other students didn't love Math the way I do," Antonio added. "I get a lot out of figuring out complex Math. It's an intellectual adrenaline rush for me to figure out a complicated problem."

Antonio's father, writer and activist, Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, said, "It was a bit of a heart-break finding out he loves numbers more than he loves words. But it's great to see him find his passion, to excel academically, and to want to inspire others."

Antonio traces his love of Math to when he was 6 years old and taught himself origami from a book his father bought for him. His father intended for them to learn the ancient Japanese art of folding paper together, but his father gave up.

"One day, I came home and found a swan made out of paper on the kitchen table," the elder Diaz added. "I asked Antonio if he had made it at school. He answered that, he had learned to make it from the  book I  gave him. It was amazing to watch him concentrate and follow the steps. He has a gift for it. I am proud that he wants to share it."

Antonio is set to graduate in May of 2018, and he hopes to attend MIT, Stanford, or  Cal Tech to study Bio-Engineering. He plans to pursue an advanced degree after that.

"When I found out my father was starting Nuestra Palabra Arts and Books, I thought this would be a great way to do complete community service hours for my school and also maybe inspire more Latinos to think of Math differently. Origami taught me how patterns and proportions function, which is a part of Math, but at the very least it's a great exercise in concentration, and you can also make some gifts that family members will love."

The class is focused on Latinos because the instructor is Chicano/Chileno, the book store carries Latino books and art, and it's held at the Hispanic Community Center-Talento Bilinge de Houston.

However, this is open to everyone. This is a class on diversity because a Chicano/Chileno youth has a passion for a Japanese art form, and he also speaks English, Spanish, and Turkish.

Space is limited to 15 spots for youth from 10 to 16 years of age.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to rsvp to secure a participant's space. Send the child's name and age, and the parent or guardian's name and cell phone number to Tony@NuestraPalabra.org or call (713) 867-8943.

All participants must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Click here for NP Arts And Books Christmas Schedule.



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NP Blog Schedule. Come back for posts by:

Tuesday, June 3: Alvaro Saar Rios

Tuesday, June 10: Russell Contreras

Tuesday, June 17: NP Discovery.    First publication: Karina Quevedo

June 24: Carolina Monsivais

July 1: Lupe Mendez

July 8: Loida Casares

July 15: Ices Fernandez 

July 22: Xavier Garza

July 29: NP Discovery. Welcome a   new voice: Luis Ochoa

August 19: Zelene Pineda Suchilt


We're kicking off this point in our journey with this essay in the Huffington Post:

Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say
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