Afro-Latina Teen Wins Google Doodle Art Contest With a Tribute to Her Mom


If you are one of the billions of people who use Google a hundred times a day, then you understand the relevance and significance of the Google Doodle. Now imagine you could create your own Google Doodle design, what would it be? Before you answer that keep in mind the importance of the Google Doodle is to inform and more importantly inspire.

Since 2008, Google has invited students, K-12, from the U.S to enter their annual Google Doodle art contest. Google states that the Doodles are meant to surprise and delight people when they visit the Google homepage. This year’s winner is Arantza Peña Popo, an Afro-Latina from Lithonia, Georgia.

The high school senior and valedictorian, at Arabia Mountain High School in DeKalb County, wasn’t quite sure what she was going to submit until the day of the deadline. The theme this year was “When I grow up, I hope…”

She said she was inspired by her mother and all her sacrifices. Her drawing on Google Doodle shows a picture within a picture. On the top is a framed picture of her mom holding her as a baby. In front of the picture is an image of the future. It is Arantza as an adult taking care of her aging mother. The title of this winning artwork is “Once you get it, give it back.”

“I looked at the photograph of my mother (the real version that inspired the drawing) and thought, ‘Hey, why don’t I reverse it?'” Arantza said, according to CNET. “I wanted to focus more on a message of helping out my awesome mother more than anything else.”

Aside from getting the honor of having her artwork featured on Google for a day, Arantza also won a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 tech package for her school, and a trip to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Arantza was also on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” last night, where the late-night talk show host said Arantza’s winning piece was chosen out of 200,000 submissions.

“I think it was just a chance to thank her for all she’d done,” Arantza said in an interview with Google. “Sometimes I think of the cost of raising a child all the way to adulthood, and since I know I can’t instantly pay my mom back hundreds of thousands of dollars, I can least pay her back in a sincere doodle.” What an inspiring young lady!

Check out her interview with Jimmy Fallon below and click here to see her incredible winning artwork that honors her mother.

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