Reuther Middle School seventh-grader Breena Keller stands in front of her Doodle 4 Google contest entry, “Painting the World.”

Reuther Middle School seventh-grader Breena Keller stands in front of her Doodle 4 Google contest entry, “Painting the World.”

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Reuther student wins Doodle 4 Google Michigan contest

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published May 8, 2018

ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS — Breena Keller, a seventh-grader at Reuther Middle School, is one of 53 students across the country recently named as a finalist in the Doodle 4 Google competition.

Doodle 4 Google is a contest open to K-12 students across the U.S. to redesign Google’s logo. Now in its 10th year, young artists were challenged to redesign the Google logo, drawing inspiration from the theme “What Inspires Me?”

“We received over 180,000 submissions from students, and we narrowed it down to one winner from each state,” said Liz Rashchke, sales manager at Google.

Keller’s doodle, “Painting the World,” features a zebra and a robin, which she said represent artists at different levels of skill.

“I was just sketching out little ideas in my notebook, and an idea popped into my head about a zebra and a robin, my two favorite animals,” she said. “In the drawing, the robin represents the younger, less experienced artist that wants to improve, and the zebra represents the older, more professional artist that would be trying to help the younger artist improve.”

Keller used a free illustration program called FireAlpaca — a drawing tool that helps artists to bring their creations to life digitally — to create the doodle over just two evenings near the contest deadline.

“I love being able to let out what’s in my mind and to be able to let other people see it,” she said.

Keller found out about the contest from her mom, Pree Keller, a graphic designer. Pree Keller said her daughter has always been passionate about art.

“She is very creative and she is very artsy. She likes to write, she likes to read and she likes to draw,” she said.

Breena Keller was surprised by Google during a special assembly at her school May 3 to announce that she had won the state competition.

“I was really surprised, because usually something like this I would just enter and then not hear anything back, so this was shocking,” she said.

Through May 18, the public will have a chance to help determine the five national finalists, one in each age group, by voting online at the Doodle 4 Google website —

Google will announce the national finalists and the winner in late June or early July. The winner’s doodle will go live on the day it’s announced, and the winner will take home a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education grant for his or her school. The rest of the national finalists will receive $5,000 college scholarships, a trip to Google headquarters in California, and some Google hardware.

Reuther Middle School Principal Wendy Darga congratulated Breena Keller on her achievement and closed the assembly with some words of inspiration for other students.

“This is something that each and every one of you can do. Keep your eyes out for opportunities and experiences like this. Breena’s mom found it. (Breena) entered, and look where she is standing right now. Always be thinking about what those opportunities might be for you,” she said.