Born without hands, dogged Anaya Ellick won an award for her skillful handwriting

The story of 9-year-old Anaya Ellick, born without hands shows that nothing is impossible in life if one is focused and determined.

Anaya Ellick who doesn’t use prostheses, won a national penmanship contest. She was honoured with a prestigious award for her skillful handwriting. Her achievement shows that there is indeed ability in disability.

Holding the pencil between her wrists, Anaya Ellick formed neat, careful letters, earning her the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship. The award is one of several that the educational company Zaner-Bloser gives out every year.

Anaya Ellick Writing

A third-grader in Chesapeake area of Virginia, United States, she won the 2018 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest, under the Nicholas Maxim category, an award that rewards outstanding manuscript and cursive skills among students. In 2016, Anaya won the award for her print writing.

Growing up, her mother helped her form letters, but she soon learnt how to hold a pencil between her two arms to write and draw. Anaya always tried out things even though she is quiet and shy. She believed she could do it and now, she is a role model to everyone.

Her father revealed that “She’s really independent – from tying shoes, putting clothes, getting baths. It was always like ‘I can do it’. So, that just carried on over the years.”

GCA Principal Tracy Cox said in a statement from the school: “Anaya Ellick is a remarkable young lady. She does not let anything get in the way of doing what she has set out to do.”

Anaya Ellick

According to Cox, “Anaya Ellick is a hard worker and has some of the best handwriting in her class. Her determination is an inspiration to all of us at GCA.”

To enter the contest for the Nicholas Maxim Award, “a student must have a cognitive delay, or an intellectual, physical or developmental disability,” Zaner-Bloser said in a statement, adding that a team of occupational therapists judges the entries.

Contest director Kathleen Wright said the judges were “just stunned” by the quality of Anaya’s printing. “Her writing sample was comparable to someone who had hands.”

Although Anaya Ellick’s arms end in tapered wrists instead of hands, she is developmentally normal in every other respect.

Anaya Ellick possesses an unwavering sense of determination that she’s had since birth that has eventually paid off when she won the writing competition.




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