Akilah Johnson, a 15-year-old high school student, has won the Doodle 4 Google competition in the US with a doodle that showed the rich African American heritage. Her doodle, titled Afrocentric Life, was featured on the Google home page on Monday.
Akilah, a student at Eastern Senior High School in Northeast Washington, topped the Google’s eighth annual competition, beating 53 states and territory champions. She was in tears while receiving the prize in the ceremony at Google headquarters. “I was so excited, I started crying. I didn’t even look at anybody — I was just looking at the framed copy they gave me,” Akilah toldWashington Post.
The competition theme was “what makes me… me.” Akilah, who is an African American, chose to draw signs and symbols of black heritage. “Of all the things I chose to include, the six most special to me are the Symbol of Life, the African continent, where everything began for me and my ancestors, the Eye of Horus, the word ‘power’ drawn in black, the woman’s fist based on one of my favourite artist’s works, and the DC flag — because I’m a Washingtonian at heart and I love my city with everything in me,” Akilah told Google .
Besides her artwork previewed on Google home page, Akilah also received a college scholarship worth $30,000. Also, Google will present a $50,000 Google for Education grant to her school. Akilah has also been given the opportunity to meet the professional artists at the Google’s headquarters.
According to Google, of 100,000 participants from 50 US states, Puerto Rico, Guam and Washington DC, five national finalists were invited to spend the day at the Google headquarters in California for the award ceremony.
Akilah is the competition’s first ever winner from Washington DC. Earlier, the district was not part of the competition.
Doodle 4 Google is an annual competition organised by Google in various countries. Children are encouraged to create a logo or doodle. The winning artwork is featured on the local Google homepage. The company also holds a similar competition in India every year with the winning entry getting a display on Google’s India homepage on every November 14, which is marked as Children’s Day in the country.