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'She puts her heart into her art': Sam Barlow grad wins Oregon's Doodle for Google

Emma Strobel is now eligible to win a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for her school.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A local teen is Oregon's winner in Google's annual Doodle for Google art contest. Emma Strobel is a 2020 graduate of Sam Barlow High School and currently a freshman at Montana State University, studying art history.

Students in kindergarten through twelfth grade can enter the contest, which asks participants to follow a theme while turning the Google logo into a work of art. This year’s theme was, "What kindness means to you." Strobel said to her, kindness means sharing what you love, with others.

“For me, that came in the form of my mother sharing her love of art,” said Strobel.

Last spring, Strobel’s art teacher and mentor, Amanda Gibson, encouraged her to enter the Doodle for Google contest.

“Gibson has been my art teacher since freshman year,” said Strobel. “I owe a lot to her.”

In her entry entitled "The Joy of Sharing," Strobel incorporated things she loves including art, sports and celebrating life; things she said her friends, family and teachers have taught her. Strobel's name isn't on the entry. It's simply labelled "Oregon," and can be found in the grades 10-12 category.

“They didn't have to do that,” said Strobel. “My mom didn't have to show me how to paint, my art teacher didn't have to put in extra hours… and my coaches didn't have to put all the time and energy they did into our teams.”

Google selected one state winner from all 50 states and U.S. territories. This summer, a team from Google surprised Strobel with news that she had been selected as Oregon's winner. They brought her Google hardware including an Acer Chromebook, Google swag and a bouquet of balloons. Strobel’s parents are proud of her.

“She puts her heart into her art, she loves what she does,” said Strobel’s mom, Carrisa Strobel. “She loves creating, she loves sharing her passions.”

“Everything she's ever tried to work towards, she's always accomplished,” added Strobel’s father, Mike Strobel.

As a state winner, Strobel is now in the running to win a college scholarship. The public is invited to vote for their favorite Doodle through Friday, August 21. A panel of judges from Google will then choose a national winner from the five entries with the most votes. Top prize is a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology prize package for the winner's school. The remaining four finalists will each win a $5,000 college scholarship.

“The scholarship money would be very handy for a struggling college student like myself!” Said Strobel. “It would mean the world to me because I really want to see how far I can go.”

Strobel said she appreciates everyone who votes for her Doodle and the support she’s received from her community.

“It's really cool seeing everybody rally behind this and sharing it,” she said. “To find that support in our community and from my home.”