Elizabeth Smart speaks at Heritage School

More than a decade after her kidnapping and rescue grabbed national headlines, Elizabeth Smart published a memoir of her ordeal in a book called "My Story," which was released Monday Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File.)
Elizabeth Smart spoke about her life story at Heritage School Thursday night. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer.)

Elizabeth Smart’s abduction in 2002 has not hindered her desire to help and give back to the world around her. Smart was abducted for nine months and continually looks back on the experience with a sense of hope and optimism.

According to The Herald Extra, Smart told a packed audience at Heritage School, “I don’t want to be kidnapped again, and I didn’t even want it once,” Smart said. “But I am grateful for what it has taught me, for what it has allowed me to do, to become a voice for so many people who don’t have one.”

Smart spoke in Provo at the Heritage School, a treatment center for at-risk adolescents, Thursday night. Smart told of her captivity and the thoughts and love of her family and faith that kept her hope alive.

The Herald Extra quoted that even when Smart was uncertain of her family’s fate, she could always find hope in turning to her God. “I can always turn to Him. I can find solace,” Smart said. “That still plays a pretty huge role in my life today.”

According to the Heritage School, Smart spoke to the students on topics such as “overcoming adversity, the importance and process of recovery and not allowing your past to dictate your life’s future.”

Smart not only travels to various schools and audiences to share her story but shares her story and what she has learned from her experiences in her new book, “My Story,” released Oct. 7, 2013.

According to npr.org, Smart said “writing the book was a healing experience that helped her realize how far she has come.”

Smart has come a long way since her abduction 12 years ago. Smart is now married and working as an advocate for children’s issues. More information can be found at the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.

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