Student’s doodle wins Google contest

Comedian Jimmy Fallon and host of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” announced on his show Aug 13 that former DeKalb County School District student Arantza Peña Popo won “Doodle 4 Google”─a national Google drawing contest.

Fallon, who was a judge for the competition─invited Popo to be on the show.

“I loved yours,” Fallon said to Popo. “I looked at a whole bunch of great doodles… but honestly [yours] was beautiful art.”

Popo, a 2019 Arabia Mountain High School graduate and Lithonia resident entered the “Doodle 4 Google” competition which invited school-age artists from across the country to redesign the Google logo according to the theme “When I grow up, I hope…”

“Once You Get It, Give It Back” is the title of the artwork Popo submitted to Google. Popo explained her art with, “When I grow up, I hope to care for my mom as much as she cared for me my entire life. In my doodle, there is a framed picture of my mother carrying me as a baby─a real picture in my house─and below the picture is me, caring for her when she’s older in the future.”

Popo’s mother, Maria, was in the audience of the Tonight Show when the announcement was made.

“I wanted to make [the competition] more personal to me. So, I decided to make it about my mother,” said Popo. “She’s made so many sacrifices for me, so I kind of wanted to show me paying it back in the future.”

Popo’s doodle was chosen from an estimated 200,000 submissions, according to Fallon.

As a national winner, Popo will receive a $30,000 college scholarship and her former school will receive a $50,000 technology package or improvement of its computer lab or technology program. The doodle also will be featured on Google’s homepage Aug 13.

Popo is now attending the University of Southern California.


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