SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – There are over 5-billion searches made on Google per day. Soon, you might not have to go through that many to find ties to South Dakota.
“I do draw… like, a lot,” 9-year-old Afton Vander Well said.
Vander Well didn’t have to search very long to find her passion in art.
“I can show my creativity, and it’s also something I do when I’m bored,” Vander Well said.
Last year, she and her class were asked to submit their own version of the ‘Google’ logo to be entered in the 12 annual ‘Doodle for Google’ contest.
“The theme was ‘Kindness.’ So, it’s being kind to earth, nature, and animals, and humans,” Vander Well said.
Now, she’s one of 54 state and territory winners that are the subjects of Google’s search to have their logo be on their homepage for one whole day. She was picked to represent South Dakota from thousands of entries across the nation.
“I was, kind of, just like, ‘What? Why me?'” Vander Well said.
She was then given a special gift from the Google team.
“They came to the house to surprise her with a big balloon bouquet, from Party America, and a box full of the Google swag,” Afton’s Mom April Vander Well said.
Those things include a Google Home, a tablet, and a t-shirt with her own design printed on it. Her drawing is one that the public can vote on to go into the top 5 finalists. If she places, she could win a 5,000 dollar college scholarship and more Google Hardware.
“The winner of the contest wins a $30,000 scholarship and $50,000 tech package for their school,” April said.
It would also grant the chance for Vander Well’s artwork to be seen by billions of people. But, win or lose, Vander Well’s mother, April, says that her passion will still go on.
“I think it’s something that she’ll always love to do; she’s always loved art and creating things,” April said.
At the end of the day, the most important to search for is what you love to do.
“We’re just proud of her for entering, and it’s fun to see the fruit of working on something that you love,” April said.
“People will just…. hopefully like it and be inspired by it,” Vander Well said.