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Afro-Latinx Winner Honors Mother in This Year’s Doodle for Google

Screenshot of Doodle for Google by Arantza Pena Popo

Every year, Google hosts a Doodle for Google contest, selecting one winner out of the hundreds of thousands of applications received. Arantza Peña Popo, a Colombia native and recent high school graduate from Georgia, is this year’s winner for the “When I Grow Up, I hope…” theme.

Popo’s Doodle, titled “Once You Get It, Give It Back,” depicts Popo’s future self taking care of her own mother while standing in front of a portrait of her mother carrying her infant self — a heartwarming tribute to all the immigrant mothers that have paved way for their children’s success. It was a last-minute creation inspired by a real photograph in their home. The illustration premiered Monday night at the The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where Popo was Fallon’s special guest.

Popo aims to capture the immigrant experience through her art by shedding light on the “destruction and that violence put towards [immigrants] in a place where they are trying to, you know, find peace.”

“I try to display this minimalistic kind of artwork with these two houses and it kind of demonstrates how in both places where immigrants try to find some kind of refuge they seem to be rejected,” she said in an interview with Vox ATL.

It’s not the first time the young artist has been recognized; Popo’s work has been on display at the U.S. Capitol as part of the 2018 Congressional Arts Competition. Contests sponsored by the Latin American Association have recognized her work as well.

As the winner of this year’s Doodle for Google contest, Popo will receive $30,000 in scholarship money and plans to attend University of Southern California in the fall. She had also expressed interest in creating a non-profit to create package design for minority business and painting murals in less-privileged neighborhoods.

Be sure to check out Arantza Peña Popo’s Doodle on the Google search page before it disappears!

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