Handwriting is a challenge for a lot of kids, but for 10-year-old Sara Hinesley? Not so much. The third-grader just won a national handwriting competition for her cursive writing, which she just learned this year. And while she says it’s “kind of easy,” her prize-winning script is even more impressive when you learn that she was born without hands.
Sara doesn’t just write beautifully, she also paints, draws, and sculpts with clay, all without hands. She doesn’t even use a prosthetic, but writes by gripping a pencil between her arms. Her mother,Catherine, says Sara has “this independent streak, where she just knows that she can do it and she’ll figure out her own way” to get something done.
This determined attitude has helped Sara win the 2019 Nicholas Maxim Award for her cursive writing, an honor that also comes with a $500 prize. Her mom isn’t surprised that Sara is excelling, despite her differences. “We learned pretty quickly to trust her judgment and let her gauge how much she wants to do and then let her do it,” her mom explains. “She moves through life in this way that you never really see her as having a disability because she has this can-do, I-can-tackle-anything attitude.”