Girl Born Without Hands Wins National Handwriting Contest

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A Maryland 3rd-grader born without hands has won a national handwriting contest.

Sara Hinesley, 10, writes by holding a pen or pencil between the tips of her arms. Even more amazingly, China-born Sara couldn’t even speak or write in English four years ago when she was adopted by the Hinesley family at age 6.

“I felt excited and proud,” Sara told “Good Morning America" about winning the Nicholas Maxim Award in the 2019 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. That particular award is open to students who either have a cognitive, intellectual, physical or developmental disability.

Sara’s prize comes with a trophy, $500 cash and educational materials valued at $500 for her school.

The girl scored her award by writing in cursive. “Cursive is round and it’s trying to connect [letters] so it’s art," Sara told “GMA.”

The grade-schooler, who could only speak and write in Mandarin when she came to the U.S., learned English with help from her big sister, Veronica.

Sara’s mom, Cathryn Hinesley, said her daughter decided she didn’t want prosthetic hands.

"All of her life she has figured out ways to overcome that challenge and it’s really made her a very strategic thinker,” Hinesley told “GMA.” “Before she takes on a task she tends to plot out how she’s going to accomplish it and is usually successful.”

That seems to be working out well for her so far.

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