Fifth-grader and Royal Palm neighborhood resident Paloma celebrated on May 15 after being named the Arizona state winner of the 2023 Doodle for Google contest (submitted photo).

Each year for the past 14 years, Google has invited students in grades kindergarten to 12 to create a “Doodle” that will grace the search engine’s homepage. For its 15th year contest, the theme is “I am grateful for…”

Fifty-five state and territory winners were chosen, representing various ages groups: grades K-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9 and 10-12. The winning doodles were made public on May 18, and the Arizona state winner is Paloma, a fifth-grade student who lives in the Royal Palm neighborhood.

“I named my artwork ‘World of Gratitude,’ and it’s supposed to represent that I’m grateful for reality and imagination,” Paloma said of her colored pencil and Sharpie creation. “On the imagination side, it’s supposed to represent my friends and family, my cat, Oreo and nature. And then on the imagination side, it’s supposed to represent more color, my dreams and ideas in my head.”

“I named my artwork ‘World of Gratitude,’ and it’s supposed to represent that I’m grateful for reality and imagination,” the young artist said.

Doodles were judged using three parameters: artistic merit, based on artistic skill; creativity, representation of the contest theme, use of the letters in the Google logo, and the unique approach to the Doodle; and theme communication, how well the contest theme is expressed in both the artwork and the written statement.

The student’s mom, Ily, is incredibly proud of her daughter’s accomplishment.

“Paloma is very creative,” Ily said. “Although in a competition there’s the technicality…we had to work with her on the technicality of it. But she delivered beautifully.”

Paloma says that she enjoys creating art, but it was reading that drew her to it.

“I got involved with art because of books, actually,” the student said. “I just love books. And then I love drawing, occasionally, what I read in books.”

Her love of reading is reflected in her doodle, which depicts the artist in the center surrounded by books. And her love of art was fostered through an online art class and her art teacher, Kristin Vizzini.

Paloma says that she enjoys art because of the unbound creativity involved, “I like how I don’t have to do a specific thing. There’s nothing really wrong about art, unless you’re aiming for a goal on it.”

She added her encouragement to other young people to give art a try for their own exploration and enjoyment, saying, “There are no rules to art.”

Online voting among the 55 state and territory Doodle for Google winners ran from May 18–25. From there, five national finalists will be chosen. Then, a national winner, which will be featured on will be named. The winning artist will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and their school will receive a $50,000 tech package. To follow the contest, visit


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