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A 9 year old from Virginia has won two national awards for her exceptional skill in handwriting–one in 2016 and one in 2018. That’s remarkable on its own — except there’s also the fact she was born without hands!

PHOTO: Anaya Ellick. Credit

Not only does Anaya Ellick have some of the neatest handwriting in her class according to her school’s principal, Anaya’s handwriting is some of the best in the country. The 9-year-old first grader at Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake, Virginia, won the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship — twice!

“We looked at her writing and were just stunned to see how well her handwriting was, considering she writes without hands,” Kathleen Wright, director of the National Handwriting Contest sponsored by education company Zaner-Bloser, told ABC News. Wright added,

“Her writing sample was comparable to someone who had hands.”

Anaya was born without hands and chooses not to use prostheses.

Bianca Middleton, Anaya’s mum, said her daughter has always been independent. “She ties her shoes. She gets dressed by herself. She doesn’t really need any assistance to do anything.”

To write, Anaya stands at her desk and uses her forearms to hold a pencil.

Example of Anaya’s 2016 entry

Gary Ellick, Anaya’s father, said “It was a shock at first” when he and Bianca learned their daughter would be born impaired. But, now years later, Anaya’s fierce determination has transformed that shock to pure inspiration.



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