She went missing when she was only 16 years old. Now, aged 34, Amanda Berry is working with United States Marshals Service to rescue other missing children.
Amanda Berry was only 16 years old when she was abducted in the year 2003. Now, she works as a missing persons advocate at Fox8, a local news station in Cleveland. She believes that bringing other missing people home has helped her discover her own voice. Therefore, she has partnered with the United States Marshals Service to rescue other missing children. Berry, currently aged 34, works with the US Marshals on their Operation Safety Net project. In just one month, she has been able to help safely locate 35 missing and endangered children between the ages of 13 and 18 by working with local and state partners, ABC News reports.
Amanda Berry, who escaped captivity in 2013 more than a decade after she was kidnapped, is partnering with the U.S. Marshals Service to help find missing children and bring them home: https://t.co/pbDepleAq4— U.S. Marshals (@USMarshalsHQ) March 11, 2021
"I definitely hope that they know that miracles can happen," Berry said in an interview with Good Morning America. "I know it’s not always easy to you know, years after year, some parents have to go through waiting for their child to come home, but hopefully they take it more serious, that I am involved. I hope that I’m a beacon of hope for them." Due to the success of the program, Operation Safety Net presently has a permanent squad based out of northern Ohio. Furthermore, the US Marshals Service could not be more grateful to Berry for her help.
Pete Elliott, the US Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio, explained, "One of the biggest reasons Operation Safety net was a success was Amanda Berry. She is a great example for Cleveland, Ohio, where you fight and you never quit and that’s what she does. We’re doing this all over the country and we’re gonna try to bring back every single kid that we can, together with Amanda Berry." It was not smooth sailing for the missing persons advocate after she was abducted. In fact, she struggled with a pervasive sense of fear.
Thank U Amanda Berry & Pete Elliott Operation Safety Net For All You Do Finding Missing Children 🙏🏼U Matter pic.twitter.com/iMcIifVI91— Bernie Kosar (@BernieKosarQB) March 11, 2021
"In the beginning, I was so scared to do anything," explained Berry. "I was really scared to leave the house and you know, being noticed. But now I just feel like I take it more as a blessing that I am on this side and that I am blessed enough to be able to help and I can finally use my voice for good." Nonetheless, thanks in part to her mother who never gave up looking for her when she disappeared so many years ago, Berry has found her calling. She said her mother inspires her to continue the fight.
Berry shared, "I push every day more and more for my mother. She fought so hard for me while I was gone, and I think now, I’m trying to finish kind of what she started for the missing. In the beginning, there was nobody to call, there wasn’t someone there to help you print your missing posters of your child. So you know, a lot has changed since 2003 and I’m just glad that I can be here and continue my mom’s work." Thanks to her activism, the US Marshals are now launching similar operations across the nation. Since October last year, they were able to bring home 400 missing children. Notably, Berry was responsible for creating the public service announcement that the agency will henceforth use in all their training programs.