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Doodle for Google 2021 winner finds strength in hope after dad's death

After the death of his father, 11th-grader Milo Golding created a charity focused on helping children cope with grief.

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Milo Golding of Kentucky created Finding Hope, the winning entry in the 2021 Doodle for Google contest.

Milo Golding

After Milo Golding lost his father at a young age, he discovered the curative benefit of hope and wanted to share its value.

Hope can be transformative and give you strength when you feel most vulnerable: That's the message of Milo's winning entry for the 2021 Doodle for Google, an annual contest open to school kids across the US. This year's theme is "I am strong because...," and the 11th-grader from Lexington, Kentucky, focused on advice his father gave to him before he died.

"I once asked my father how he overcame obstacles and became who he wanted to be. He replied, 'Hope, hope keeps me strong,'" Milo wrote. "After I unexpectedly lost him at 13 due to a heart attack, it helped me overcome grief and support other children who lost loved ones.

"Regardless of life's hardships and uncertainties, hope is always there. It's our job to find that hope in order to move forward," Milo told Google, which is showcasing his Doodle on its home page Tuesday.

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Milo Golding, the winner of the Doodle for Google 2021 contest.

Google

Milo said that after the death of his father, he felt his life purpose shift, leading him to create a charity called Sanguine Path that focuses on helping children in his community who have suffered a similar loss or challenge.

"We serve children 18 and under who have lost loved ones or been affected by challenging experiences by providing them with Christmas and birthday gifts, care packages and back-to-school kits," he told Google, adding that children are referred to the program by family members, school staff and grief counselors.

In addition to his Doodle being featured on Google's home page for a day, Milo will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, as well as a $50,000 technology award for his school.

His Doodle is also included in a gallery of artwork for all the state winners chosen from submissions made by K-12 students in the US, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.