Anaya Ellick has achieved the impossible. Anaya has won a handwriting competition except that Anaya has no fingers to hold a pencil or a pen. The 7-year-old who was born without hands does not use prosthetics and yet, writes herself. Tanya stands at her desk and grips the pencil between her forearms. From that angle, she is able to write with perfect penmanship.
In a report by The Washington Post, when Anaya applied to Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake, Virginia, USA, this year, the school’s superintendent, Ron White, wasn’t sure the school could meet her needs. But Anaya’s parents assured him that Anaya needed no special accommodations — she was just like any other kid in the first grade.
Anaya’s handwriting is so impeccable that her principal, Tracy Cox, entered her in a national handwriting competition in the category for students with special needs. In April, it was announced that she had beaten 50 other children to win the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship. To look at her entry, it would be impossible to know it was written by a child without hands. Each block letter is flawless.
“She inspires everyone around her because you wonder how does she do this. And it’s not like she’s struggling to do this,” Ron said. “Where we see an obstacle, she sees an opportunity.”
“It’s easy to complain about things that are hard, but you look at a little girl like her and we have no excuses for digging in and doing hard work,” the principal said. “Life is tough and we are going to be faced with challenges, but when you really apply yourself and have that determination, she shows amazing things can happen,” she added.