Anaya Ellick, a Virginia first grader beats fifty children between kindergarten to eighth grade from around America to win the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Penmanship.
Anaya’s feat which won her a trophy and grand prize of one-thousand-dollars was overwhelming as she was born with no hands, refused to used prosthetics and still had better handwriting than many students with hands.
Tracy Cox, Principal of Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake told ABC News:
“So when you look at this little girl who was born without hands, who has souvenirs handwriting in her class and who can do so much on her own without complaining, that just removes excuses from our lives on what we can or can’t do.”
Cox added, “She is a hard worker. She is determined. She is independent. She is a vivacious and a no-excuses type of young lady.”
Cox also said Anaya had the neatest handwriting in her class despite writing by holding her pen in between her forearms.
The 7 year-old’s penmanship won in the category which encouraged students with cognitive delays, or intellectual, physical or developmental disabilities to also participate in the awards.
A team of occupational therapists decided who will receive the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Penmanship which Anaya won.
Competition director Kathleen Wright said to ABC News, “Her writing sample was comparable to someone who had hands.
We looked at her writing and were just stunned to see how well her handwriting was, considering she writes without hands”.
Anaya’s mother, Bianca Middleton, admitted being were worried at first about her daughter, but is now inspired by her.
Bianca said, “She ties her shoes, she gets dressed by herself, she doesn’t really need any assistance to do anything.”