Stratford 15 year-old with unity message wins Google doodle contest

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STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Students at one shoreline high school got a surprise this morning from the folks at Google. A student at Bunnell High School in Stratford is the state winner of the “Doodle 4 Google” contest.

The “Google Doodle” is the funny and educational take on the Google logo that sometimes pops up when you go to searching for something on the internet.

“There are doodles that celebrate famous people, some people that you might not have known about,” explained MacKenzie Thomas, a product marketing manager with Google.

For 9 years now, Google has run a contest for school-aged kids across the country to draw their own doodle.

“We look for things like creativity and how closely the doodle is associated with the theme, which is ‘What I see for the future’ for this year, and so we’ll look at all these different things,” said Thomas.

There is a winner from each state, and this year’s Connecticut winner is Bunnell sophomore Sarah Harrison, for her doodle of a diverse group of kids all getting along.

“Since there’s a lot of tensions going on between people in general, I wanted to inspire some unity amongst all the people, because we’re all human in the end,” said Harrison.

She has been drawing for years, her work looks great, but she did not answer the call from Google telling her she won, and she almost deleted the voicemail.

“When I actually listened to it, I freaked out. It said, ‘This is Google,’ and I was like, am I in trouble? Did I do something wrong?” Harrison said.

She did something right, but now she is up against tough competition to become the national winner, with a $30,000 scholarship and a $50,000 prize for the school on the line.

“There will be one winner from each of the 53 states and 3 territories and from there the public gets to vote,” Thomas explained.

News asked Harrison if she wanted to send any message to people to vote for her, and her answer was surprising: “I don’t want to tell people to vote for me because I want them to vote for whichever one they feel resonates with them best, really,” she said.

That public voting starts tomorrow night and lasts the next couple weeks. Normally we would give you a link for that voting, but in this case, you should probably just google it.

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