A Connecticut teenager with a vision of inclusion was announced as the winner of Google’s “Doodle 4 Google Contest” on Friday.
After viewing thousands of creative submissions from all around the nation, Google selected Harrison’s submission, titled “A Peaceful Future” as the victor in the annual contest, which is in its ninth year.
This year, contest organizers asked participants to draw “what I see for the future.” Harrison’s drawing was voted on by a panel of judges and determined the winner out of around 4,200 entries.
Harrison is a 10th-grade student at Bunnell High School in Stratford, Connecticut. She explained to Google that her drawing is meant to symbolize that all walks of life — regardless of their background — should be accepted wherever they may go.
My future is a world where we can all learn to love each other despite our religion, gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality. I dream of a future where everyone is safe and accepted wherever they go, whoever they are.
Her Doodle features six of eight children lined up together wearing shirts that spell the word “Google.” Each of the shirts has a symbol that promotes being equal and tolerant, and one of the children is in a wheelchair and another has a cane.
For winning the contest, Harrison will receive $30,000 toward a college scholarship and an opportunity to meet with the Google Doodle team at company headquarters in Mountain View, California. In addition, Bunnell High School will get $50,000 from Google to invest on technology for its STEM students.
Hrrison said after her victory was announced that she came up with the idea when brainstorming how to visualize that inclusion will continue to be a big part of our nation’s future.
When I started, I was thinking of how there’s a lot of animosity toward diverse communities of people in the world right now. So I wanted to draw something that I hoped would show that we can all get along well, and that it’s possible for us to be happy with each other. I want everyone try to be more open, accepting, and respectful to people. You don’t know what they’ve been through – and they don’t know what you’ve been through — so we all deserve respect from each other.
The win was announced by Google at 1 p.m. EST, but staff members at Bunnell High School weren’t able to tell students and begin the celebration until 1:30 p.m. because testing was going on, the Hartford Courant reported.
Principal Nancy Dowling told the Courant that ever since Harrison’s victory, the school has received an overload of media requests.
The email is blowing up, the phone is blowing up. This could not happen to a nicer young woman/artist and her family.
Her drawing will be featured on Google in the U.S. through 3 a.m. Saturday.
William Floyd, the head of external affairs for the search engine, said in a statement that Harrison’s drawing was selected because it represented everything they were looking for when they chose this year’s topic.
Ultimately, Sarah’s doodle captured the best of everything we saw, representing values like diversity, inclusion, and respect in an inspiring and creative image.
Google gave all finalists in the contst a $5,000 scholarship, a Chromebook and a trip to company headquarters. Click here to see the national finalists in the contest.