Sara Hinesley, a third-grader who was born with no hands, recently won a national handwriting award for her impressive cursive skills.
By Char Adams
Ten-year-old Sara Hinesley has never been one to back down from a challenge.
“The things I can’t do, I try to figure out the ways I can do it and try my best to make it work,” the third-grader told WJZ. “I just try my hardest and put my mind to it and this is what happens.”
Hinesley, of Maryland, was born with no hands. And, recently, she won the Nicholas Maxim Award in the 2019 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. The award is for students who have a cognitive delay or an intellectual, physical or developmental disability, according to Good Morning America.
“I felt excited and proud,” she told GMA of earning the award, which comes with a trophy, prize money and educational materials.
Hinesley was born in China and adopted four years ago by an American family, according to GMA. As she grew up, the little girl developed her own method of writing by gripping the pencil or pen with her arms.
“Sara is very motivated and a disciplined student,” her mother, Cathryn Hinesley, told GMA. “She excels really at about anything she tries.”
Hinesley goes to St. John Regional Catholic School in Frederick and when she isn’t busy excelling in the classroom, she enjoys doing the usual kid activities — “I like to play, I like to watch TV,” she told WJZ, adding that she loves spending time with her older sister Veronica.
She won the award for her impressive cursive-writing skills, which the 10 year old said wasn’t easy.
“I think it’s kind of hard — well sometimes easy and sometimes kind of hard — cause you don’t really remember all the letters to write,” she told the station.
Naturally, Hinesley’s excellence isn’t lost on school faculty.
“It’s pretty amazing given the physical disability,” Principal Karen Smith told WJZ. Hinesley’s teacher, Cheryl Churilla, told the Washington Post: “I have never heard this little girl say, ‘I can’t.’ She’s a little rock star. She tackles absolutely everything you can throw at her, and she gives it her best.”
She will receive her award at a ceremony on June 13.
“She has this independent streak where she just knows that she can do it and she’ll figure out her own way,” Cathryn told the Post. She is beautiful and strong and mighty just the way she is, and she just lives that way. She really does.”