A Virginia first grader named Anaya Ellick, used her good handwriting to beat out 50 other youngsters from around the country to win a national handwriting contest – the 2016 Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship.
Little Anaya was born without hands and uses her forearms to write, opting to forgo prostheses.
Her penmanship was submitted in the category that encourages the participation of students with cognitive delays, or intellectual, physical or developmental disabilities. This category is judged by a team of occupational therapists, and the winner is awarded the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Penmanship.
According to the Principal of her school, it was her idea to have Anaya enter the competition, which is open to students in kindergarten to eighth grade. She said,
“There is truly very little that this girl cannot do. She is a hard worker. She is determined. She is independent. She is a vivacious and a no-excuses type of young lady.”
Anaya entered the competition and successfully won. The competition director Kathleen Wright told ABC News that, “We looked at her writing and were just stunned to see how well her handwriting was, considering she writes without hands. Her writing sample was comparable to someone who had hands.”