CHESAPEAKE, VA (CBS Local) – A child winning two national penmanship awards is impressive. The fact that Anaya Ellick has done it after being born with no hands makes the accomplishment even more special.
The nine-year-old from Virginia just won the 2018 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest’s Nicholas Maxim Award. The third-grader’s cursive handwriting was chosen as the nation’s best among students with special needs. Anaya does not use prosthetic hands and has learned to hold a pencil using both of her forearms.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom Pardons Woman Sentenced To Life In 90s For Fatally Shooting Abuser
In 2016, Anaya won the same award for her print writing while in the first grade. “Anaya is a role model to everyone,” third grade teacher Sara Cannaday said, via WTKR.READ MORE: Kings Run Away In 4th, Top Heat 81-64 At California Classic
“I was happy and I thought my mom was joking when she said I won again,” Anaya told reporters. The nine-year-old added that she may try participating in sports next.
“I’m proud because it encourages her,” Anaya’s mother Bianca Middleton told WTKR. “For her to see that hard work does pay off.”MORE NEWS: Father Drowns In Lake Berryessa While Trying To Save Son
Anaya’s father, Gary Ellick, added that his daughter has always been confident in her abilities despite her disability. “She’s really independent – from tying shoes, putting clothes, getting baths. It was always like ‘I can do it.”