Georgia teen Arantza Peña Popo was named the winner of the Doodle for Google contest. Google asked children across the country to redesign the Google logo using the theme “When I grow up, I hope...”
Popo, who was chosen out of 222,000 students, submitted a stirring portrait of her family that took over the Google homepage Tuesday. She named the painting “Once you get it, you give back,” and said it was made in honor of her mother.
“When I grow up, I hope to care for my mom as much as she cared for me my entire life,” she told Jimmy Fallon on Monday night.
Fallon was one of the judges for the contest and brought her on his show to celebrate.
“My mom has done so much for me and sacrificed a lot,” Popo added.
In addition to getting her art in front of billions of computer screens, Popo will receive a $30,000 scholarship which she plans to use when she attends the University of Southern California in the fall.
Her high school in Georgia, Arabia Mountain High School, also benefited from her win. Google will deck them out with a $50,000 technology package.
Popo was valedictorian of her class this year and is already an accomplished artist. She came to the United States as a child from Colombia and many of her pieces are centered on immigration. She won the grand prize in the Congressional Arts Competition last year and scored first place in another contest in October.
“Early in high school I kind of believed that artwork, like the highest kind of artwork, was the one with the best technical ability. You know, the one that’s most photorealistic, but now as I’m going through my stages and like seeing different kinds of art, I’ve learned that it’s more about the concept and about the message,” she told Vox Atlanta last year.
“You know, how you’re kind of filling up space and also creating accessibility for the general public through your artwork, and that’s helped me create a stronger message and create stronger artwork in general."