Jade Olurin ’17
On June 5, 2002, Elizabeth Smart was taken from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah.
During her nine months of captivity, she was subjected to unspeakable abuse by her captors, yet maintained an unshakeable will to live. On March 12, 2003, she was rescued by police and reunited with her family.
I met Elizabeth at the Common Wealth Awards in the Dupont Hotel, where she was honored with the award for public service. Her speech, which had to allow frequent pauses for applause, was one of hope and the importance of moving forward. Unafraid of recounting her experiences, she told the audience how, during her captivity, when she thought about cases like hers, it was unusual for authorities to find the victim alive. It was then that the fourteen-year-old self decided to “do whatever it took to survive.” Holding on to her devout Mormon faith and the knowledge of her family’s love for her, Smart displayed a resilience that carried her through to the end of her captivity and her present life. Continue reading “Elizabeth Smart and the Importance of Perspective”