Competing on 'Survivor: Marquesas' taught Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien the importance of tapping into her inner strength and connecting with others, the 48-year-old real estate agent said recently. Now the AP reports that Vavrick-O'Brien is hoping to help other women through The Real Foundation, which plans to distribute funds to nonprofit organizations around the country for counseling and special projects like outdoor adventures.

She's using part of her $80,000 earnings from "Survivor" and soliciting donations for the South Burlington-based foundation, which she hopes will enable women to go beyond self-imposed limits.

"You can change — it's not that big of a scary world out there," she said. "Here I was on a TV show and millions of people have accepted me for who I was. It's OK — you can break out and do something new; you really can."