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Young artist doodling for Google
Online voting runs through May 18
Google art
Thirteen-year-old Brice Messerly, a student at Piney Grove Middle School, created this drawing for a Google contest. - photo by Illustration/Submitted
For most folks, doodling rarely produces more than a dull pencil.

One 13-year-old Forsyth County student, however, was rewarded with an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for his efforts.

Piney Grove Middle School student Brice Messerly is a finalist in a contest sponsored by Google, which encouraged students to create logos for its home page.

He and 39 other students from around the country will gather May 20 in New York to find out who advances to the next round of the “Doodle for Google” contest.

Messerly said he was shocked when he heard his multicolored, permanent marker creation was selected from about 28,000 entries.

“My jaw dropped to the floor,” he said. “My face was completely red.”

His design, which features the emblems of several nations’ flags, was inspired by the contest’s theme: “What I wish for the world.”

Messerly said the other designs are “very good, but I’m confident in what I did as well.”

His design was chosen by a panel of judges and company employees. He won for his age division and his region, which includes Georgia, Florida and North and South Carolina.

Whether he wins another round is up to the voters. To view and vote on the 40 district finalists, people can go to the Google home page and click on a link to the contest.

“We’re telling everybody we know to get on there and vote,” said his mother, Laurie Messerly.

Online voting runs through May 18.

Laurie Messerly will accompany her son to New York. The date falls on her birthday.

“When he told me about it, he said, ‘Mom, I don’t have a birthday present for you yet, but how about a trip to New York City with me?”

She said her son has always been interested in drawing, but “really has an interest in culture.”

“He’s traveled to Europe before, and he’s going to travel to Japan coming up this summer, so he’s very interested in the idea of tying cultures together,” she said.

The prize for the four national finalists is a laptop computer. The overall winner receives the grand prize of a $15,000 scholarship.

The winning design will also be featured on the Google Web site for 24 hours.