CHESAPEAKE, Va (CBSDFW.COM) – A nine-year-old girl is defying the odds through her writing. Anaya Ellick, who was born without hands, won her second national handwriting award.
The child from Virginia 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.
The nine-year-old does not use prosthetic hands. She learned to hold a pencil and write using both of her forearms.
She won the same award for her print handwriting in 2016.
“Anaya is a role model to everyone,” third-grade teacher Sara Cannaday told CBS-affiliate WTKR.
“I was happy and I thought my mom was joking when she said I won again,” Anaya told reporters.
Her mother, Bianca Middleton, told WTKR, “I’m proud because it encourages her. For her to see that hard work does pay off.”
Anaya’s father, Gary Ellick, said his daughter has always been confident in her abilities despite her disability. “She’s really independent – from tying shoes, putting clothes, getting baths. It’s was always like, ‘I can do it,'” he said.
The third grader added she has sports on her mind as her next endeavor.