Freshman shows that the sky is not her limit

Veronica+Gonzalez+%289%29+waves+to+an+auditorium+full+of+students.+Gonzalez+was+the+only+Indiana+finalist+in+the+Doodle+4+Google+competition.%0A

Veronica Gonzalez (9) waves to an auditorium full of students. Gonzalez was the only Indiana finalist in the Doodle 4 Google competition.

Nicole Milaszewski

Veronica Gonzalez’s (9) Doodle 4 Google submission was titled ‘The Sky’s not the Limit.’, proving this true when she was named the finalist for the state of Indiana.

Gonzalez’s win brought Google representatives and a state senator to the doors of Lake Central for a presentation on Feb. 23.

“It was a distant thought [that I might have won]. I had no idea that I was going to win. I was just so shocked and excited. I couldn’t believe it. I felt important, special and happy,” Gonzalez said.

After a tough selection process, Gonzalez is now a finalist and will advance to compete with winners from other states.

“The selection process is actually really fun. We have some crazy, awesome celebrity judges like Simone Biles, Sia and so forth. A lot of googlers also got to vote on the over hundreds of thousands of submissions this year. Now it is a crowdsourcing platform to see who wins,” Blaire Bender, Google employee, said.

Senator Todd Young’s attendance emphasized the importance of Gonzalez’s win and its connotations for the future.

“[Having Google come to local high schools] makes me think of two things. One, it makes me think it’s great that they’re reaching out to students and getting them more comfortable with technology and lifting their imaginations, catalyzing their interests in technology and doing unique things with their professional lives. Number two, it impresses me that they’re such an intelligent company and that they’d be connecting with young people knowing that the young people are going to want to work for a company like Google and use their technology more after being exposed to some of the unique features that they showed us today,” Sen. Young said.

As a company that affects nearly every aspect of our lives, Google’s visit to Northwest Indiana revealed another face of the company.

“I think it humanizes a really big company. There’s 60,000 of us and it’s really cool for us to get to go out and be in the communities, but in the same retrospect, it’s really fun to see such a big company put so much effort and energy and time and money into wanting to come to small-town America areas and show that we’re here to support and wouldn’t be the company we are today without our users. That’s our number one thing is that users are all over the place. Let’s go where they are,” Bender said.

This event only reinforces Google’s overarching goal of applying knowledge to change the world.

“It’s not necessarily the educational aspect that you need to bring to the table. It’s your worldly experience and an understanding of that and what you can do with the tools that Google gives you,” Kelly Weiss, Google employee, said.