She had eight siblings and they were all having trouble going to school. Sometimes Kathy Berg stayed out late at night. She didn't know what she wanted.
So, at 16, Berg was sent to a foster home but conflicted with another child. She ended up in a Utah Youth Village foster home, earning points for brushing her teeth or making eye contact, earning rewards like television and snacks. She straightened up pretty fast, she said. The people there believed in her and taught her valuable things, like how to talk to people in an appropriate way.She graduated from high school in 1997. She started classes at Salt Lake Community College. She does office work as an intern on the CBS-TV series "Touched by an Angel."
This Saturday, Berg, 19, will share her success story with more than 500 people at the Utah Youth Village's annual fund-raiser fashion show.
The Utah Youth Village will hold the 21st annual event to raise money for programs such as successful parenting classes, therapeutic family homes, group homes and in-home family preservation efforts.
The village, which cares for about 500 abused, neglected and abandoned children and youth, is a network of group homes, treatment foster homes and family services.
Beth Wolfer, associate director of development, said officials hope to raise $40,000 during the fund-raiser. Twenty-eight children ages 5 to 17 who are associated with the village will model at the event. Because of sponsors who donated $250 per child, each child gets to keep one outfit and an 8 X 10 picture of himself or herself shot by a professional photographer.
"It really boosts their self-esteem and their confidence. Kids who did it last year say it was a little scary but they were glad they did it," Wolfer said.
Jason, 16, modeled last year. He said it was a fun experience from which he learned a lot.
"Before I came in and did the fashion show, I really didn't think I was good enough to be sort of a model. But now I think, hey, I can do anything," he said.
For 21 years the Utah Youth Village's volunteer Caring Council has collaborated with ZCMI on the fund-raiser. ZCMI provides professional models, the runway and the clothing. Volunteers do the models' hair and makeup.
Wolfer said 500 to 600 people are expected to attend.
The luncheon and fashion show begin 11:45 a.m. at the Little America Hotel Grand Ballroom. Thirty Village youth and 25 professional models will showcase ZCMI spring fashions.
Tickets are $35. Call 272-9980.