As a result of this traumatic experience, Smart has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. She is currently involved in The Elizabeth Smart Foundation and has helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.
Smart’s abduction and recovery has motivated and continues to motivate parents, law enforcement authorities and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes the vital role everyday people play in finding missing children, and the importance of never giving up hope in searching for a missing child. In addition, she worked with the Department of Justice and four other recovered young adults in creating 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 to not give up hope and know that a full life can still be lived following tragic events.
Elizabeth Smart is a daily demonstration that there really is life after a tragic event. Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She emphasizes vigilance by "every day" people and the belief that hope always exist to find every missing child. Smart’s speeches not only tell her story but also cover topics such as overcoming extreme adversity and not allowing your past to dictate your future.
- 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.
- Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward and Never Giving Up