Overcoming Adversity: The Elizabeth Smart Story
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. At the tender age of 14, just before celebrating her middle school graduation, Elizabeth went to sleep in her family home just as she had always done. Awakened hours later to a knife held roughly against her throat, she was taken from her home and family and held captive for nine long months. In this captivating message, Elizabeth shares her incredible story of perseverance in the face of unimaginable adversity. Her speech not only tells her personal story, but also discusses topics such as overcoming extreme adversity, the importance and process of recovery, and not allowing your past to dictate your life's future. Elizabeth knows that there is nothing more important than having hope in a difficult situation. Having lived through an extreme circumstance as a young teenager, Elizabeth gives great insight and hope to all.
What meeting planners are saying about Elizabeth Smart
ELIZABETH SMART embodies the best of the future of the next generation of world leaders. The author of the best-seller My Story and the Founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, she is a survivor of a horrific kidnapping who was able to prevail during her ordeal by finding the courage deep within herself to thrive and survive. Following her rescue she was able to triumph by focusing on living the happy life that her captors had tried to steal from her. She's dedicated her life to helping women and children who have been kidnapped or involved in human trafficking. She is incredibly inspirational. Her TEDx talk was amazing. She has a new book, Where There's Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up.
She did an event for the Common Wealth Foundation which also featured Mandy Patinkin and Bob Schieffer and Elizabeth was the speaker they all raved about (including Mandy and Bob). Here are more rave reviews for Elizabeth:
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003, after being held a prisoner for 9 grueling months.
Through this traumatic experience, Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, and National legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to conviction.
The Founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation”, Elizabeth has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.
Elizabeth has chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, My Story. In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivors guide, entitled, “You're Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.
Elizabeth has recently released a new powerful and inspiring book about what it takes to overcome trauma, find the strength to move on, and reclaim one’s life. "Where There’s Hope" is the result of Elizabeth’s mission: It is both an up-close-and-personal glimpse into her healing process and a heartfelt how-to guide for readers to make peace with the past and embrace the future.
Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery continue to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes vigilance by "everyday" people and the belief that hope always exists to find every missing child.
Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She married her husband Matthew in 2012, and they now have two beautiful children. Elizabeth’s example is a daily demonstration that there really is life after tragedy.