HOUSTON -

After spending months in captivity as a teenager, Elizabeth Smart shared her incredible story of strength and survival in Houston on Thursday.

Smart was the guest speaker a fund-raising breakfast for ChildBuilders, the local nonprofit that provides programs and training to help protect children from being victimized.

Smart's kidnapping made national headlines. When she was 14, she was abducted from a bedroom in her family’s Salt Lake City home. She was found nine months later.

"I lived a very quiet, normal life. That just goes to show it doesn't matter what your social status is, it doesn't matter how much your family makes, doesn't matter where you live. It doesn't matter -- it can happen to you." Smart said.

Smart said she didn't let what happened to her ruin her life.

"This man had taken so much of my life already. The best punishment I could give him is to be happy," said Smart.

Smart is now 24 years old and married.