IT wasn’t the first time Mia Buckley made it to the finals of the Doodle 4 Google competition, but this time around she was crowned the winner.
Mia’s winning doodle is set to go live to millions of users on Easter Monday, March 28th, when they log onto the Google Ireland homepage.
Summercove National School in Kinsale, where Mia is currently a sixth class pupil, has bucked the trend in recent years with six pupils having reached the finals, although Mia is the first to win the competition.
‘We are over the moon with Mia’s win and this is the second time she’s been in the final. The last time was when she was eight, but thankfully this time she won,’ said her mother, Donna.
‘We went up to the prize winners’ ceremony in Google in Dublin and we didn’t know at that stage if she had won. It felt like the Oscars, to be honest. Mia was amazed and we weren’t expecting it at all, so it was wonderful to win.’
Mia faced tough competition from 74 other regional finalists but her winning doodle, entitled ‘Ireland is a land so green’, used images of farm life as well as flowers, sports and music, to give the iconic Google logo a creative twist.
Ronan Harris, head of Google in Ireland, had high praise for Mia’s doodle entry.
‘Mia’s doodle really caught our eye as she captured Ireland’s rural heritage, as well as our love for music and sports. She did a fantastic job incorporating the Google logo using vibrant colours and a clear design,’ said Ronan Harris.
By winning this prestigious competition, Mia was presented with a €5,000 scholarship towards her third-level studies and a Chromebook, and the school will also receive a €10,000 technology grant, while her teacher Louise Hallissey will also receive a Chromebook.
‘Mia draws constantly and she wants to be an animator when she grows up,’ Donna told The Southern Star.
‘She was totally shocked at winning the prize and then she was doing television and radio interviews, so it was all very exciting.
‘We had a big party for her when she went and her grandmother was there too to celebrate Mia’s achievement,’ added Donna.
Mia’s fellow pupils and teachers also formed a guard of honour for her when she went to school the following morning with her cheque for the school, and in the tradition of celebrating good news – there was no homework that night for anyone.