ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Though Iman Haddouche-Miranda loves to draw and make art, she more or less entered the Doodle for Google competition on a whim.
“Don’t quit and don’t stop following your dreams,” Iman said. “Always follow your dreams.”
The contest has students from all over the county submit artwork for Google’s homepage in the theme, ‘I am grateful for….’
Iman chose her community and drew the sports she plays, tennis and karate.
“They both nurture me and feed me good vibes,” Iman explained. “They both teach me how to improve myself.”
After she was bullied by other students, her mom decided to homeschool her, and Iman’s Islamic community came through.
“They didn’t like who I was because I was different,” Iman recalled. “And the doodle shows that I’m grateful for my community, and I can be me and more with the support of my community.”
And earlier this week, that support paid off. Iman won the Doodle for Google contest for Florida. Google’s Doodle team set up a surprise ceremony where they announced Iman as the winner, and gave her a Chromebook laptop, a t-shirt and other gifts with her doodle printed out.
“For her to go through that and still see a better way out of it through art, that is a big accomplishment,” said Jennifer Wallace.
Jennifer Wallace teaches at a local school and helps Iman on the weekends.
“All throughout her life, regardless of how hard something is,” Wallace said. “She can go and look towards doing art to make her feel better.”
If Iman wins the national competition, she plans on giving the winnings (nearly $100,000 in prizes) to her Islamic community to help them buy computers. She says many people don’t have them for basic tasks and school. It’s her way of giving back.
If you’d like to look at all the state winners and vote for Iman, you can do so here.