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Youth Winners Announced: 2023 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest

A solar-powered, babysitting car aimed at reducing pollution while providing a safe and fun environment for kids was one of nine award-winning designs in the 2023 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest. The program seeks to inspire creativity in youth and encourage innovative ideas for future mobility.

After deciding on her concept, it took Lingfei Coco Truong, age 12, almost two months to design her “Fun Zone in Traffic Jam” artwork using markers and colored pencils. Her hard work and creativity paid off as her artwork was selected as the Gold Award recipient in her age category..

A fishy idea of a vehicle that encourages carpooling was the winning design by 10-year-old Kaavya Jethwani who incorporated her love of the ocean with a desire for a cleaner world. The fifth grader at Frisco’s Sparks Elementary School loves to draw, and it took her only about 15 minutes to decide on her aquarium car theme. She then spent a full three weeks bringing her vision to life with vibrant colors and intricate detail, using colored pencils on paper. She received the Gold Award in her age category for her “Aquarium Car.”

“Jethwani’s resulting artwork is a testament to her creativity and her commitment to finding new and innovative solutions to today’s challenges,” a Toyota spokesperson said. “By reimagining the traditional car as a colorful and friendly ride-sharing vehicle, Jethwani created a work of art that not only inspires but also has the potential to change how we think about transportation and its role in our lives.”

This year’s nine U.S. contest winners are:

U.S. Winners
CATEGORY 1: Youth, 4-7 Years
  1. Gold Award: Magic Dream Car” by Mirabelle Gu, age 7, Pasadena, CA
  2. Silver Award: My Fantasy Kitty Ride” by Melody Chang, age 6, Douglaston, NY
  3. Bronze Award: “Electric Bunny Helping Car” by Sixian Jiang, age 7, Dublin, CA
CATEGORY 2: Youth, 8-11 Years
  1. Gold Award:Aquarium Car” by Kaavya Jethwani, age 10, Frisco, TX
  2. Silver Award:Around the World Academy” by Seungah Chung, age 11, Beverly Hills, CA
  3. Bronze Award:Birdy Vacation Car” by Allison Xinyu Yi, age 8, Wellesley, MA
CATEGORY 3: Youth, 12-15 Years
  1. Gold Award:Fun Zone in Traffic Jam” by Lingfei Coco Truong, age 12, Walnut, CA
  2. Silver Award:An Artist’s Dream” by Sara Kim, age 12, Kenmore, WA
  3. Bronze Award:Ocean’s Magician” by Ella Kim, age 14, Austin, TX

The Petersen Automotive Museum awarded the Petersen Prestige Award to Ella Kim, age 14, of Austin, Texas, for her “Ocean’s Magician” artwork. “So much of car design is about identifying a problem, then designing and engineering the solution to that problem, but attention must be given to the user experience. Ella Kim carefully thought about her vehicle’s propulsion and the materials made in crafting it, as well as the comfort and enjoyability of the people riding inside. Her beautiful artwork addresses a global concern in a thoughtful and artful way,” said Autumn Nyiri, associate curator.

In addition to the nine U.S. contest winners, 15 other young artists were selected as “Honorable Mention” award recipients. An additional 78 round out the U.S. finalists chosen from the record-breaking 3,403 artwork submissions received.

Honorable Mention Award Recipients
CATEGORY 1: youth, 4-7 YEARS
  1. Butterfly Recycling Car” by Raina Lutz, age 6, Ann Arbor, MI
  2. My Car Friend – Pandora” by Qianyu (Sherry) Ma, age 6, Arcadia, CA
  3. Brave Disco New World” by Cecilia Xi, age 6, Encino, CA
  4. Penguin Express to the Rescue!” by Claire Jung, age 6, Fairfax, VA
  5. Toyota Drug Delivery Vehicle” by Jayden Wang, age 7, Pleasanton CA
CATEGORY 2: youth, 8-11 YEARS
  1. Robot Whale Car” by Maggie Liu, age 11, Palo Alto, CA
  2. The Magic Phoenix School Bus” by Katy Wang, age 8, Mountain View, CA
  3. Destination, Year of Rabbit” by Elina Dong, age 9, Walnut, CA
  4. Eagle Robot Car” by Sihoo Park, age 11, Houston, TX
  5. Whale Saving the Day” by Daon Kim, age 8, Mukilteo, WA
CATEGORY 3: Youth, 12-15 Years
  1. Earth Car” by Aditya Bharti, age 14, Cary, NC
  2. My Bubble Dream Car” by Sofie Yang, age 12, Chicago, IL
  3. Cleaning The Ocean” by Katelyn Rodriguez, age 13, Placentia, CA
  4. Cartoon All The Way Through” by HuaYi Wei, age 13, New York, NY
  5. By the Sea” by Leela Sitzes, age 14, Los Angeles, CA

Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan held the first worldwide contest in 2004. Nearly 90 countries now host national contests. The U.S. contest began in 2012. All countries submit their top nine winners to Japan as entries to a world contest. To learn about the world contest, visit www.Toyota-DreamCarArt.com. The U.S. contest website is www.ToyotaDreamCarUSA.com.

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships. Toyota has created a tremendous value chain and directly employs more than 36,000 in the U.S. The company has contributed world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 30 million cars and trucks at our 9 manufacturing plants, 10 including our joint venture in Alabama that begins production in 2021. To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with an immersive experience and chance to visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual field trips and more. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.