Inspired by a family trip to Joshua Tree, Irvine Elementary student Allison Rhee’s submission for the 15th annual Doodle for Google student contest was ranked in the top five nationally.   

This year, Doodle for Google challenged thousands of students across the country with the prompt “I am grateful for…” In response, Rhee, a third grader at Irvine Elementary School, illustrated the memory of a camping trip with her family. 

Featuring a starlit night sky, a campfire, and her stargazing family, Rhee’s artwork titled “Joshua Tree” incorporated the visual elements of her family’s trip to spell out the word “Google” – with a roasted marshmallow on a stick to signify the “L” in Google. 

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‘Joshua Tree’ by Irvine Elementary student Allison Rhee

“I was grateful when I went to the Joshua tree with my family. I loved seeing the stars and making Alpha XRs,” she said. “It made me realize how small we are compared to the universe. I was thankful that I was brought into this world from the best family in the whole wide world. My mom and I talked about the stars all night long. It was a memorable night.”

For Rhee, inspiration comes from spending time with her family and watching the stars. 

“I thought about what I like and love the most. I love looking at the stars at night, camping, and spending time doing everything with my family. I thought about going camping with my family and looking at stars at night.”

Rhee added that she wanted to enter this year’s Doodle for Google contest because she loves art, but had no intention of being recognized.  

“I love arts and drawing, and Doodle for Google was another fun experience for me,” Rhee said. “To be honest, I didn’t enter to win, let alone make it to the top 5. This was another great chance for me to draw and enjoy, and that’s why I entered.” 

While Rhee is excited about having her Google Doodle ranked nationally, she is more grateful for her family.

“I love my mom, dad and my older brother Jacob so much (and my latest little brother puppy Maru). They take care of me and they are very special to me. Without them I wouldn’t be out in this world.”

Asked about what being ‘grateful’ means to her, and why it’s important, Rhee said she hopes being humble and trying to understand everyone’s perspective is something that demonstrates gratefulness.  

“Being grateful means we are humble. Being grateful also means that you always try to understand other people’s feelings. You can’t do everything on your own in your life. You will need help from others and your loved ones,” she said. “Being grateful for the love and help from others will make you and your loved ones feel good and happy, and bring smiles.” 

While she did not expect to win, Rhee said that her family has been celebrating the accomplishment. 

“This has been such a fun experience. My family and I love this especially more since this is such a neat accomplishment, where we can share so many stories and stories about this whole experience for a long time to come.”

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