Vote for RUSD student to win National “Happy Hands” Contest

Photo RUSD: Trapp Elementary School is buzzing about Ricardo Gonzalez as he competes in a National contest! The third-grade student is a finalist in the SC Johnson “Happy Hands” contest for his hand soap/sanitizer dispenser design, which he is holding in his hand. Trapp Timberwolves staff has placed signs encouraging everyone to vote across campus. Vote for Gonzalez’s design, only online, at, once per day until February 28, 2022.

He’s smart, he’s competing on a national level, and he’s only 9. 

Trapp Elementary School third grade student Ricardo Gonzalez’s unique hand soap/sanitizer dispenser design has put him in the running as a finalist in a national competition. 

But he needs your vote in order to win. 

Gonzalez, a student in teacher Shirley Lee’s class, is a finalist in the SC Johnson Professional’s “Happy Hands Contest” in the Kindergarten through 5th Grade category. The public can vote for their favorite designs, only online, at once per day until February 28, 2022. Although it takes a couple of minutes to vote, according to school officials, the push is to get Gonzalez to win the grand prize.

The contest promotes the importance of handwashing at school by allowing students to design a hand soap/sanitizer dispenser.

Gonzalez’s design features a heroic bar of soap battling against a coronavirus particle with boxing gloves on. In speaking about his entry, Gonzalez proudly stated he was confident about his work once he completed the entry and feels good that he will win. 

“I went to look online and found some interesting details,” said Gonzalez while speaking about his inspiration for the project. “Because COVID-19 is around I wanted to draw soap and a COVID-19 virus.” 

It is the second straight year a student in Lee’s class at Trapp Elementary School is a finalist for the contest. Clemmie Taylor, a current Trapp Elementary third-grade student, was a finalist last year. 

Lee said she is happy to see an “excellent student” such as Gonzalez selected as a finalist for his unique design. 

“Ricardo takes on any task. No task is too tall for him,” Lee replied. “Even if he might initially feel like he can’t do it, he will still persevere, tackle the task and work through it. He’s a great critical thinker. And it showed through in his thoughtful design.”

Trapp Elementary School has joined together in a push to help lift Gonzalez as the winner. “Vote For Ricardo” signs appear all around the school’s campus. 

“We are trying to remind everyone every day to vote for Ricardo,” Lee said. “We are really trying to push it so that he’s the winner. If he wins Trapp Elementary School wins as well. It’s a win for Rialto so it’s a win for all.”

Trapp Elementary School Principal Berenice Gutierrez is equally proud that Gonzalez will be representing the Trapp Timberwolves.

“It’s exciting to see our students be creative and see how their creativity can be used to send positive messages,” Gutierrez stated. “Regardless of whether he wins or loses we are very proud that he was able to get his art out into the world to be seen and valued.”

The contest winner will receive a $300 gift card, and the winner’s school will earn a $1,000 donation and up to 1,000 manual hand soap/sanitizer dispensers displaying the winning design in the school. The grand prize winners will be announced in April. 

What would Gonzalez do with the prize if he won? “I will try to spend it with my family. Like on a family dinner,” Gonzalez said.