Prairie Village native SuEllen Fried has been honored by L’Oreal Paris as one of 10 Women of Worth.
Women of Worth, established in 2005, honors women across the United States who make a difference in their communities.
Fried was honored for her efforts with Reaching Out from Within, a self-help program for prisoners that she co-founded in 1982.
Along with her fellow nominees, Fried was flown to New York for a celebration earlier this month.
“We were all just so grateful to have such an exciting array of people who want us to succeed,” Fried said of the experience. “The other nine women, they are all doing marvelous things and of course we’re all trying to stay alive and grow and expand.”
At the celebration, each honoree shared the mission of their services and charities.
“I got to be a voice for all of those men and women I love so much,” Fried said. “I got to talk to them about how I hope that they can be received when they come back to our society.”
All 10 women honored were awarded $10,000 toward their individual projects.
Fried said she would use the money to help fund a new program in women’s maximum security prisons in Kansas.
“We will train women on how to work with computers, so they can have a skill when they come out of prison and can do more than menial labor,” Fried said.
But the biggest takeaway for Fried was the network of people through Women of Worth who vowed to be allies for Reaching Out from Within.
“Once we’re celebrated, it’s not over,” Fried said. “They are going to stay in touch with us and assist us. It’s like being part of an incredible resource, all the people that are going to continue supporting us. It’s overwhelming to think of what’s in store.”