Alithia Haven Ramirez, 10, was one of the 21 victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24. She aspired to be an artist and entered the annual art contest Doodle for Google. The search engine giant honored her memory this week as well as the memory of all the victims by spotlighting her art online as a Google Doodle. “I want the world to see my art and show the world what I can do, I want people to be happy when they see my passion in art,” she said in her submission.
Doodle for Google is an annual art contest for students in grades K-12. According to the Doodle for Google page, “students are invited to create their own Google Doodle for the chance to have it featured on Google.com, as well as win some great scholarships and tech packages for their schools.” The contest is judged by special guest judges, and this year it is being judged by Selena Gomez, Elyse Fox, and Juliana Urtubey. National finalists will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, and the winner will collect a $30,000 scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for their school, among other prizes.
According to ABC, Alithia’s drawing did not advance to the final rounds of the contest, but Google decided to highlight it nonetheless in a memorial page set up just for her and the other victims. This year the theme was “I care for myself by…” which asks students to share what they do to comfort themselves as they face the “opportunities and challenges every new day brings.” Alithia drew a girl with a dog sitting on a couch and two balls of yarn next to her. Above the couch is the word ‘Google’ spelled out with items like scissors and the sun.
The day after the mass shooting, actor Matthew McConaughey traveled to Uvalde and met with some of the victim’s family members, including Alithia’s parents, Ryan and Jessica Ramirez. In his White House press briefing on June 7, McConaughey held up artwork by Alithia that her parents shared.
“Ryan and Jessica were eager to share Alithia’s art with us and said that if we can share it, that somehow maybe that would make Alithia smile in heaven,” McConaughey said. “They told us that showing someone else Alithia’s art would in some way keep her alive.”
During President Biden’s visit to Uvalde days after the shooting, he met with Alithia’s family and they asked if he would display one of her works in the White House. The president reportedly responded, “Whenever we hang it up, we are going to send you a picture of where it is hanging, and you are free to see it anytime.”