Kidnapping survivor-turned child advocate Elizabeth Smart was in Huntsville Thursday to share her amazing story. WHNT News 19 was the only TV station given the chance to sit down with Elizabeth while she was in town. She's using her nightmare to give others hope.
Elizabeth Smart spoke about her nine-month kidnapping to a sold-out crowd. She received two standing ovations.
"I'm here to tell my story in part," she said.
It's a story that captured the nation 10 years ago. Then 14, Smart was taken from her bed in the middle of the night from her family's home in Utah.
She beat the odds when she was spotted and safely returned home.
Now 24, Smart tours the country to share her story.
"Pieces of my kidnapping and talk about how I've overcome and how I've moved forward." Elizabeth said.
"You were thrust into the national spotlight," we asked her. "You've embraced that. What do you feel is the impact you are making on the next generation to help kids?”
"It's been amazing. I've been able to see focuses turn from looking at each other when a child goes missing to looking for the child," Elizabeth replied.
Through the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, she is working to empower children through prevention.
''Right now we're really working on a prevention piece called RAD... Kids Resisting Aggression Defensively," Elizabeth shared.
Smart hopes radKIDS gets into every elementary school in the country.
For now, she will continue to inspire sold-out crowds in every city along the way.
"We've all had hard times, but it doesn't need to take any more of our life away than it already has," said Smart. "We can overcome."