Prairie Village, Kansas, resident SuEllen Fried has spent more than five decades serving others as a volunteer. Her journey began in 1961, when she learned the value of redirecting anxiety, anger, and frustration into positive behavior as a dance therapist. SuEllen used those early lessons in her service work, channeling her skills to combat child abuse, bullying, domestic violence, and the rehabilitation of prisoners.
In 1972, SuEllen founded the Metropolitan Kansas City STOP Violence Coalition, and four years later she founded the Kansas Child Abuse Prevention Council. She has been a trailblazer in raising and building public awareness for child abuse, neglect, and teaching ways to combat violence.
SuEllen focused on the prevention of bullying by creating the “Kindness is contagious…Catch IT!” initiative in 1976, as well as other programs like “Cooperation Company,” which taught children positive conflict mediation skills. She also co-founded, Reaching Out from Within, a program that encourages inmates to find healing through group sessions that teach them to resolve conflict without violence.