Elizabeth Smart, advocate for child abduction victims and recovery programs, recently made an emotionally gripping presentation at this year’s Broward College Speakers Series presented by Hoffman’s Chocolates. During her speech entitled, “Overcoming Adversity: The Elizabeth Smart Story,” Smart shared her incredible story of perseverance, strength and recovery that not only told her personal abduction story, but also discussed topics such as overcoming adversity, the importance and process of recovery, and not allowing your past to dictate life’s future.
Her recovery has led her to start the Elizabeth Smart Foundation with her father and create a partnership with Operation Underground Railroad, a foundation dedicated to ending child slavery.
“When I look back on my life, I don’t look back on my kidnapping,” said Elizabeth Smart. “I look back on all the blessings in my life. I don’t regret what’s happened. It’s helped me get to where I am today. I have so much to be grateful for.”
She relayed how her mother told her, “Elizabeth, you know what this man has done to you is terrible. The best punishment you could ever give him is to be happy and to do all the things you want to do. This man and woman do not deserve to take more of your life than they already have.”
Child Rescue Coalition was the title sponsor for the event and is a partnership of child exploitation investigators, police officers, digital forensic experts, prosecutors, child welfare agencies, and corporate and private philanthropy. The organization uses leading-edge technology to help track, arrest and convict those who use the Internet to harm young children.