CHESAPEAKE, Virginia — People may look at Anaya Ellick and see a child who’ll have a lifetime of challenges. But a second look at her reveals a girl who’s providing a lifetime of inspiration.
Anaya, 7, was born with no hands and doesn’t use prosthetics, yet earlier this week she won a national handwriting contest.
Anaya, a first-grader at Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake, Virginia, received the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship. It’s all part of the National Handwriting Contest sponsored by Zaner-Bloser, an educational company that’s run the competition for 25 years to promote legible handwriting.
In order to write, Anaya holds a pencil between her arms and stands at her desk to get the right angle for writing.
Independent at home, too
“Anaya is a remarkable young lady,” said her principal, Tracy Cox. “She does not let anything get in the way of doing what she has set out to do.”
She’s fairly independent at home as well, her parents told WJW sister station WTKR.
“She ties her shoes. She gets dressed by herself. She doesn’t really need any assistance to do anything,” said her mom, Bianca Middleton.
For winning the contest, Anaya gets $1,000 and a trophy, according to Zaner-Bloser’s website. Her school won too, as the company awarded it a gift certificate to be spent on print and digital resources for students and teachers.