Elizabeth Smart speaking at Iowa State on Oct. 5

AMES, Iowa – Elizabeth Smart has transformed from victim to advocate. Next week, she’s bringing her message of empowerment to Iowa State University. 

Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart. Photo courtesy of First Class Agency.

In 2002, 14-year-old Smart was abducted from her home and spent nine months in captivity. Her kidnapping captured national attention, becoming one of the most-followed child abduction cases in history.

“From Adversity to Empowerment” will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Stephens Auditorium. Tickets are not required for this free, public event. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Enter through the ticket office doors on Stephens’ north side.

In the years following her rescue, Smart has traveled the country to educate, inspire and advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and legislation.

She created the Elizabeth Smart Foundation to help prevent crimes against children and she has worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivors’ guide for children who have endured similar experiences. Smart chronicled her experiences in her book, “My Story.” Her most recent book, “Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up,” offers a powerful message of hope and discusses what it takes to overcome trauma.

A book signing will follow Smart’s lecture in the Celebrity Café on the lower level of Stephens.

A safety awareness resource fair will precede the lecture at 6 p.m. on Stephens’ lower level. Representatives from ISU Police, Student Health and Wellness and other university and community programs assisting with trauma, recovery and personal safety will be on site to share information.

This event is co-sponsored by the Ames Police Department, Ames Public Library Friends Foundation, Ames United Church of Christ, C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense Iowa, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, Community Support Advocates, Green Dot, ISU Athletics Department, ISU Department of Public Safety, Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery, Margaret Sloss Women’s Center, Martial Arts Club @ ISU, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Thielen Student Health Center, University Library, Women in Science and Engineering, YWCA Ames at ISU and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.

Find more information about ISU lectures online or by calling 515-294-9934.