Elizabeth Smart — who at age 14 was kidnapped from her bedroom at knifepoint and was held captive for nine months before being found — will be an ABC news correspondent. It is expected that she will be on Good Morning America and possibly other programs like Nightline.
ABC News spokeswoman Julie Townsend explained what Elizabeth Smart’s specific role will be:
“She’ll help our viewers better understand missing person stories from someone with the perspective to know what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing. And her contributions will be focused on looking ahead, not looking back at her own story.”
Smart prepared a statement about this new phase of her life:
“I am committed to giving back and getting involved where I can make the greatest difference through child advocacy work…. Partnering with ABC provides a powerful tool to help me accomplish this. I look forward to working to create awareness for and helping bring other missing children home as well as helping to prevent others from experiencing what I went through.”
This will not be the first time Smart will play a victim’s advocate role. She’s been an activist promoting sexual predator legislation and the AMBER alert system in the US. She’s received an award for her efforts. She’s was a keynote speaker at a recent Crimes Against Children Conference. A couple of years ago, she was one of the victims who contributed to the writing of a pamphlet for survivors called “You’re Not Alone: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment.”
Elizabeth Smart recently returned from Paris, France, where she was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This Newsweek article explains some of her motivation to serve as an LDS missionary:
She says she felt compelled to become a missionary, in part, because of her gratitude for the millions of people throughout the world who prayed for her safe return—and saw their prayers answered. “It made me want to go out and give back and make a difference,” she says.
In this video interview, Smart explains more about what motivated her to serve a mission, and about the message of faith in God’s love that she wanted to share.
According to this article, Elizabeth Smart will continue pursuing her college degree while working for ABC.
I have personally been very impressed with Elizabeth Smart, her poise, her faith, and her strength of character and will. She has moved past the horrible ordeal she endured to find healing herself, and I am glad she has this new opportunity to continue be an advocate and activist to support victims and their families, and to work on prevention of crimes against children.
Photo comes from AP files.
The title of this story has been edited from the original to (I hope) more accurately reflect Elizabeth Smart’s position title.