Alicia and her family work towards preventative safety education and effective legislation so that no child will suffer as Alicia has.
“The Alicia Project,” though rooted in tragedy, has become a voice for exploited and missing children. In January of 2002, its namesake, Alicia Kozakiewicz, became the victim of an Internet luring and was abducted to another state where she was held captive. Following a miraculous rescue by the FBI, Alicia, still recovering from her ordeal, returned to school and was soon highly involved in both academic and extracurricular activities, graduating with high honors. During these years, she came to realize that other children need not suffer her traumatic experience, and so, “The Alicia Project,” Internet safety and awareness education, was born.
Along with her parents, Mary and Charles, she has educated children, families, teachers, law enforcement and governmental and social agencies, and has been honored to address numerous conferences, forums and summits, lending her personal and unique insight of the subject. She has participated in Internet Safety films for the FBI, the Office of the PA Attorney General’s Operation Safe Surf, the PA Cyber School, the Pennsylvania Center for Safe Schools, Enough is Enough and the A&E Biography Channel, among others, as well as being the subject of an award winning Internet Safety documentary for PBS, Alicia’s Message: I’m Here To Save Your Life. Her story and mission have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, as part of Internet Safety programs across the nation, and internationally in a number of publications including People and Cosmopolitan, in the hope of raising awareness. Collaborating with four other young survivors, Alicia co-authored an OJJDP publication, “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment,” a survival guide for returning abductees.
Additionally, recognizing the need for effective Internet Safety legislation, Alicia testified before Congress, and has lobbied successfully for the Protect Our Children Act of 2008 and Alicia’s Law, a state-by-state version of the same, which has become the mechanism to apply self-reliant dedicated funding – real dollars for real child rescue. Alicia’s Law has passed in Virginia and Texas and she has dedicated herself to seeing the initiative passed in all fifty states.
Alicia has received both a 2009 Jefferson Award and the 2007 Courage Award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in recognition of her efforts.
Having earned her BA in Psychology, Alicia is continuing her mission and hoping to one day earn the title of Special agent, and joining the FBI task-forces that were instrumental in her rescue. “I’d like,” she says “to ultimately become the person who rescues the child, and then helps to recover that child’s soul.”