Doodle 4 Google student winner’s artwork imagines a world of peaceful acceptance

GOOGLE ASKED young artists to consider the concept, “What I see for the future…” And for Connecticut high schooler Sarah Harrison, that horizon line includes peace.

This afternoon, Harrison’s “A Peaceful Future” is being named as the winning art in the national Doodle 4 Google student contest — and appears on the Google home page. Harrison rendered eight young people as symbols of diverse experience — six of whom spell out “Google.”

Reacting to her win, Harrison said in a statement: “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.”

The Bunnell High School student added: “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 four national finalists included Lucien Bell, a third-grader at John Eaton Elementary in the District. His sculptural artwork, titled “E-Waste Google,” was created from “a salvaged DVR.”

The celebrity judges included Simone Biles, Jimmy Kimmel and Sia, as well as animation-industry talents Brenda Chapman and Floyd Norman and flights systems engineer Tracy Drain. The annual Doodle4Google contest, launched in 2008, is open to students grades kindergarten through 12; last year’s winner, Akilah Johnson of the District, won for “My Afrocentric Life.”

Harrison’s victory includes $30,000 toward a college scholarship, and a meeting with the Doodle team at Google’s Bay Area headquarters. Her school will get $50,000 in technology funding.




This 15-Year-Old's Google Doodle Pictures a Peaceful Future

For a 15-year-old who won the chance to create Friday's Google doodle, the future is a picture of peace.

Connecticut teen Sarah Harrison's drawing of eight people of different ages, ethnicities and religions embracing called "A Peaceful Future" graced Google's homepage Friday. Harrison won Doodle 4 Google, a contest where young artists were asked to submit their vision for the future in the hopes of winning a turn on the search giant's homepage, according to the Hartford Courant.

The image came online on Trans Day of Visibility. One of the characters in Harrison's doodle wears a shirt that combines the symbols for both male and female.

"My future is a world where we can all learn to love each other despite our religion, gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality," she said, according to a Doodle 4 Google post. "I dream of a future where everyone is safe and accepted wherever they go, whoever they are.Harrison's prize for winning the contest includes $30,000 for college and $50,000 for technology for her school, Bunnell High.


Google Doodle Contest Winner From Connecticut

Chosen from among about 4,200 entries, a Connecticut teenager's doodle went up on Google Friday afternoon.

Sarah Harrison, of Stratford, won the national Doodle 4 Google contest with her illustrated vision of acceptance and respect.

Inspired by the prompt, "What I see for the future ..." Sarah, 15, drew kids of various skin hues lined up with arms over each others' shoulders. Six of the eight wear T-shirts that together spell "Google," with religious and other symbols promoting equality and tolerance substituted for letters. The drawing also includes a child in a wheelchair and another holding a cane.

"My future is a world where we can all learn to love each other despite our religion, gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality," Sarah said. "I dream of a future where everyone is safe and accepted wherever they go, whoever they are."

"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's head of external affairs, William Floyd, said.

The Bunnell High School sophomore had traveled to California with her family as a finalist. On Friday, she received a $30,000 college scholarship, and her doodle was to be showcased on the homepage through Saturday at 3 a.m. Sarah also will have the chance to work with the Doodle team at the Googleplex in Mountain View.

Google regularly updates the logo on the company home page to mark holidays, anniversaries and other notable events. A team of illustrators has created about 2,000 Google doodles since 1998, according to the company.

Sarah said her inspiration was the many divisions among people around the globe.

"When I started, I was thinking of how there's a lot of animosity toward diverse communities of people in the world right now," she said. "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."

The celebration was on at Bunnell High School, which is to receive a $50,000 Google for Education grant to advance STEM education.

"The email is blowing up; the phone is blowing up," school Principal Nancy Dowling said.

Dowling said she and some staff members celebrated after seeing Sarah's win announced at 1 p.m., but she could not tell students until 1:30 p.m. because testing was in progress.

"This could not happen to a nicer young woman/artist and her family," she said.

The Doodle 4 Google competition gives K-12 students across the country the opportunity to have their artwork featured on the Google homepage. This year, a panel of judges, including Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, selected the winners from the 50 states and three territories. Public voting over the course of two weeks then determined national finalists.

Google was the most visited website in the world in 2016, according to web traffic data and analytic company Alexa Internet Inc.

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