LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart is in North Little Rock Friday.

She is a distinguished guest for the National Guard Professional Education Center.

Smart was kidnapped in 2002 and rescued by police after a nine-month search, which made international headlines.

She now spends her life dedicated to advocacy for child safety and to give hope to those who have been through trauma and sexual abuse.

Smart says as hard as it is, trauma doesn’t have to define you.

“I want them to know they are special. whatever happened to them can not detract from their value as a human being,” Smart said. “They were born with value they were born with worth. No matter what anyone does to them, no one can take that away from them.”

She has two best-selling books, “My Story”, the story of her abduction and survival, and “Where There’s Hope”, a book about what it takes to overcome trauma, find the strength to move on, and reclaim one’s life.

Smart is now a wife and mother of three.