Sophie Araque-Liu, a teenager from Florida, was inspired by the support she gets from her mom.
In 1998, before Google was even incorporated, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin altered the corporate logo to provide a hint that they had attended the Burning Man festival in Nevada. Users loved the gesture and with that, the idea of the Google doodle was born.
Btw the way, if you don’t know what a Google doodle is, it’s the illustration you might see at the top of the page when you go to Google from your browser. Google defines it this way,
Doodles are the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.
The team at Google has created over 5,000 doodles for their homepages around the world.
But there’s also a yearly Doodle competition. And this year’s Doodle for Google 2022 Contest — open to school students from kindergarten through 12th grade — was based on a theme that used the prompt: “I care for myself by …”
Given that so many youth are struggling with post-pandemic mental health issues, it was a thoughtful choice on Google’s part. Even more thoughtful were the finalists’ entrees, whose illustrations depicted what they do to care for themselves, which includes exercising, getting into nature, cooking favorite foods, and spending time with family.
Google users in the US voted for winners in each grade category (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-10, 11-12) and by state/territory. You can check out the five finalists here.
The winning entry was created by 16-year-old Sophie Araque-Liu, from Florida, whose doodle was inspired by her relationship with her mom, and read:
“I care for myself by accepting others’ care for me. Often I struggle to shoulder a burden on my own, and forget that I have so many people, like my mom, who care about me and want to help me. Opening up and letting others support me not only relieves my stress—it lets me tackle things I could never do on my own.”
As the U.S. national winner for 2022, Sophie takes home a $30,000 college scholarship and her school has won a $50,000 technology package.
As students across the country and around the world head back to school, hopefully they will be inspired by Sophie’s doodle, remembering they are not alone and that we care for ourselves when we allow others to support and care for us.