In her words, the Doodle depicts “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.”
Her selection as the contest’s winner was announced Monday by Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show,” and her drawing was displayed on Google’s homepage.
The Colombian and Afro-Latina, who was suffering from a “massive art block” during her senior year of high school, was inspired to honor her mother.
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On the left, Arantza Peña Popo’s winning @GoogleDoodles.
It’s her and her mother, inspired by the photo on the right.
Out of 222,000 student entries, Arantza won the $30,000 scholarship. Her Georgia high school will get $50,000 in new technology.
It’s also the new Doodle. pic.twitter.com/lcK7ZZNEbD
— scott budman (@scottbudman) August 13, 2019
“I came up with the idea at the last minute, actually the day of the deadline,” she said. “I looked at the photograph of my mother (the real version that inspired the drawing) and thought, ‘Hey, why don’t I reverse it?’ I wanted to focus more on a message of helping out my awesome mother more than anything else.”
Popo told Google about the Doodle: “I think it was just a chance to thank her for all she’d done. 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.”
This is the 11th year of the competition, and this year’s theme was “When I grow up, I hope…”
#Doodle for Google 2019 – US Winner #
Date: August 13, 2019
Congratulations to Georgia-based high school senior Arantza Peña Popo, who was announced as the winner of the US 2019 Doodle for Google national competition last night on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon!
— Goggle Doddle (@GoggleDoddle) August 13, 2019
“I think I will have more confidence in my artwork after this experience,” she said. “I honestly saw it as a little sketch, but it surprised me that it seemed to have impacted people a lot more than I thought. I guess I will take my stuff more seriously.”
As the winner of Google’s competition, she will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology package for her school and a trip to Google’s headquarters in California.
Popo will be attending the University of Southern California in the fall.