Elizabeth Smart: Adversity to Empowerment

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Elizabeth Smart: Adversity to Empowerment

By Leslie Sturgeon
Women Inspiring Women Founder & Visionary

Adversity – Not a word that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. It is safe to say being abducted at the age of 14 from your bedroom in the middle of the night could possibly be the definition of adversity.   The average young women would not have the where-with-all and intelligence to escape from that situation, and sadly, a lot do not.  Elizabeth Smart is not you average young woman.  Elizabeth Smart is coming to the NH Conference for Women on Friday and  is going to tell us about her abduction, but more importantly how she escaped from that abduction and stared the adversity in the face. Elizabeth did not let abduction define her life and keep her from enjoying it, she reversed that adversity and is an accomplished harpist, a college graduate, a world traveler, a best-selling author, motivational speaker, wife and mother.

We all have adversity in our lives, it is how we  choose to deal with it that defines us, not the event itself. This past 18 months, I have had almost more adversity than I could take. My mother passed away from cancer, I ended a long-term relationship, and that partner recently passed away, and within two days I lost two dogs I loved.  The grief at times was immeasurable.  This was on the heels of losing my Dad. While I didn’t realize it at the time, because it is hard to see the sun through the clouds, my mother passing away and the dissolution of my relationship were events that caused me to grow. I had to make difficult decisions but also decisions that empowered me as a woman. I came out the other side.

One reason I chose Elizabeth Smart as the keynote speaker this year is because she is such an amazing example of coming out the other side. Her talk will undoubtedly instill in women that your circumstances don’t define you per se. They are part of your story, but they aren’t the last chapter.

I invite you to come to the NH Conference for Women on Friday, November 3rd at the Radisson in Manchester to hear Elizabeth Smart speak, and quite possibly something in her story will resonate with you and adversity you are dealing with now or in the future and could be instrumental in helping you come out the other side. It will be an honor to welcome her to New Hampshire on her 30th birthday.


Leslie Sturgeon is the founder of Women Inspiring Women, and has been described as a reformed shy girl, a serial entrepreneur, a tireless leader of women in New Hampshire, a crazy dog lover and as someone who tackles life’s challenges head on with a positive attitude. She has spent her life learning about herself, taking massive action outside of her comfort zone and lived to talk about it. Leslie has “been there” and continues to transform into the best version of herself right along side you. She lives life without regret while embracing today and overflowing with excitement about what is yet to come.  Her greatest joy in life is helping others to achieve their dreams, realize their unique qualities and encouraging them to reach for the stars.



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