BOISE -- The Smart Women, Smart Money financial conference is being held in Boise today.

This year's keynote speaker is Elizabeth Smart, the Utah woman who survived being kidnapped and abused 10 years ago.

Elizabeth Smart is now 24 years old. She is an articulate, confident, yet soft spoken person.

She's in Boise to share her incredible story with the hope that it will help someone who needs to be lifted up.

Mother Theresa I think said it best, she said, I know God won't give me anything I can't handle, I just wish he just didn't trust me so much, Smart said.

Smart can probably relate to that quote. She's taken a tragedy and turned it into something positive.

She travels the country telling people about her kidnapping and sexual abuse, telling people no matter what they're going through, they can overcome it.

I had to find something worth living for, and for me that was my family, Smart said.

Finding something worth living for is the message she shared to over 1,300 women who attended the Boise conference.

I think if I could have shared one piece of advice with parents everywhere, I would make sure you tell your child how much you love them, Smart said.

Now, she's married and works with her father running the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. It's a foundation geared towards helping children recover from abuse.

Part of that is telling parents to give their children permission to stand up against those who might want to harm them.

Many children need that permission to be like, okay, someone is hurting me. I can fight back. I can do something about it, Smart said.

With a fire in her eyes, she explained that parents need to tell and teach their children to literally fight someone who wants to hurt them.

I want you to poke their eyes out, I want to kick them as hard as you can where it counts. I want you to do whatever you have to do because you are so special to me that if anything ever happened to you, I couldn't replace you, Smart said.

Soft spoken, yet passionate and speaking with conviction, Smart was brought to this conference to show that overcoming is possible - no matter what it is.

No matter who you are, or where you're at, or whatever your problems are, miracles happen. There is always hope, Smart said.

Smart told the women here to make sure their kids know they love them. She says it was that knowledge that got her through her ordeal.

If you want to hear more from Elizabeth Smart, we will be airing her keynote speech from today's Smart Women, Smart Money conference.

You can watch that on Idaho's Very Own 24/7 starting next Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Then again on Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Read or Share this story: