33 Indiana Women Selected as 500 Festival Princesses  

33 Indiana Women Selected as 500 Festival Princesses  

500 Festival Princesses will represent the 500 Festival, give back to their communities, and grow leadership and professional development skills 

INDIANAPOLIS – The 500 Festival today announces the 33 Indiana women selected to serve as 2022 500 Festival Princesses. The 2022 500 Festival Princesses represent 15 Indiana colleges and universities and 22 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.62, this year’s 500 Festival Princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on leadership, academic stewardship, community involvement, and their embodiment of the Hoosier spirit.  

The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, has a long history of celebrating Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women. While serving as a 500 Festival Princess, these women will be given many opportunities to grow professionally, gain mentorship from the 500 Festival Board of Directors, and develop leadership skills within their communities.  

500 Festival Princesses will experience the Month of May in a unique way, serving their communities, including the 500 Festival’s statewide outreach program, which educates Hoosiers about the history of the 500 Festival and legacy of the Indianapolis 500, all while creating lifelong, meaningful connections.  

The 500 Festival Princesses will participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by BKD, which empowers participants to make a profound impact within their community and the state of Indiana. In addition, each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies, and the 500 Festival Foundation.   

This year’s 500 Festival Princesses represent a diverse group of women with a range of areas of studies that include nursing, elementary education, business, engineering, game design, and pre-med. 

The 500 Festival welcomes back Khamis Fine Jewelers as the official and exclusive jeweler of the 500 Festival Princess Program. Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a custom pendant that incorporates a heart to symbolize the heart of a princess, an emerald to represent May’s birthstone, and a checkered flag to recognize the Indianapolis 500. 

“The 500 Festival is eager to kick off the 2022 season of events with our newly selected 500 Festival Princess class,” said Bob Bryant, 500 Festival president and CEO. “We are proud to provide these 33 women with an unforgettable Month of May experience where they get the opportunity to learn, lead, and give back to Indiana communities. We look forward to our continued partnership with Khamis Fine Jewelers as the official jeweler of the 500 Festival Princess Program.” 

Each year, 500 Festival Princesses conduct more than 1,500 community outreaches impacting more than 50,000 people, expanding the celebration and impact of the Indianapolis 500 in a meaningful way.  

 

The 2022 500 Festival Princesses, hometown, high school, college or university, and area of study are as follows (in alphabetical order):  

Melissa Aceves, Columbus, a graduate of Columbus North High School, and a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in community health 

Cieara Anderson, Greentown, graduate of Eastern High School, and a sophomore at Purdue University majoring in visual arts and design education 

Gabbie Black, Brownsburg, a graduate of Brownsburg High School, and a freshman at Indiana University majoring in exercise science  

Emily Bultinck, Indianapolis, a graduate of Heritage Christian High School, and a junior at Purdue University majoring in biomedical engineering 

Maia Campbell, Kokomo, a graduate of Western High School, and a senior at Ball State University majoring in biology 

Maria De Leon, Indianapolis, a graduate of Crispus Attucks High School, and a senior at Butler University majoring in political science, critical communications, and media studies 

Emily Deldar, Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a sophomore at Purdue University majoring in speech, language, and hearing sciences & psychological sciences 

Jayden Emenhiser, Lafayette, a graduate of Rossville Jr/Sr High School, and a freshman at Indiana University Kokomo majoring in biology 

Lexi Giddens, Whiteland, a graduate of Whiteland Community High School, and a junior at Franklin College majoring in biology 

Claire Goodwin, Pendleton, a graduate of Pendleton Heights High School, and a senior at Indiana Wesleyan University majoring in nursing 

Katherine Grabowski, Terre Haute, a graduate of Terre Haute South Vigo High School, and a senior at Marian University majoring in political science and communication 

Caroline Gretencord, Fishers, a graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School, and a senior at Indiana University majoring in Spanish and speech, language, and hearing sciences 

Juliana Hand, Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in game design 

Madeline Heath, Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in marketing  

Kamryn Kikta, Brazil, a graduate of Northview High School, and a senior at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College majoring in nursing 

Jourdan Klemann, Vincennes, a graduate of South Knox High School, and a junior at Indiana State University majoring in business administration 

Lexi Leisure, Noblesville, a graduate of Noblesville High School, and a junior at Ball State University majoring in elementary education 

Elainy McCoy, Covington, a graduate of Covington Community High School and a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in nursing 

Risha Mehta,Yorktown, a graduate of Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, and a junior at Indiana University majoring in psychology and neuroscience 

Kristina Mikhailova, originally from Saint Petersburg, Russia, and current Greencastle resident, a graduate of Lyceum 64, and a senior at DePauw University majoring in physics and mathematics 

Unnathi Nayak, originally from Dubai, UAE, and current Indianapolis resident, a graduate of Indian High School, and a junior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in management, marketing, and international studies 

Jullianna Niebbia, Warsaw, a graduate of Warsaw Community High School, and a senior at Purdue University majoring in English with a concentration in English education 

Yuki Oshima, originally from Utsnomiya, Japan, and current Indianapolis resident, a graduate of Utsunomiya-Minami High School, and a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in global and international studies 

Blanca Osorio-Ortega, Greenwood, a graduate of Greenwood Community High School, and a junior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in political science and international relations 

Maddy Phipps, Danville, a graduate of Danville Community High School, and a junior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in marketing and pursuing a masters of business administration 

Lauren Pilkington, McCordsville, a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School, and a senior at the University of Southern Indiana majoring in radio and television 

Meghana Reddy, Fishers, a graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School, and a senior at Indiana University majoring in finance and international business 

Leigh Anne Roth, Carmel, a graduate of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, and a junior at Indiana University majoring in pre-optometry 

Delaney Tejcek, Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a senior at Purdue University majoring in law and society 

Mary-Matalyn Tom, Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a senior at Indiana University Kokomo majoring in biochemistry 

Mary Tragesser-Tina, Atlanta, a graduate of Tipton High School, and a junior at Ball State University majoring in biology, pre-med 

Mia Wagner, Carmel, a graduate of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, and a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame majoring in psychology 

Madeline Worcester, Westfield, a graduate of St. Theodore Guerin High School, and a junior at Marian University majoring in marketing 

 

The 2022 Marlyne Sexton 500 Festival Queen Scholar will be announced on Saturday, May 21 during the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc. The 500 Festival Queen Scholar will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. 

As representatives of the 500 Festival, 500 Festival Princesses play a crucial role in the execution of the 500 Festival’s mission of enriching lives, while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana.  

To request a visit from a 500 Festival Princess, click HERE

Support of the 500 Festival Princess Program is provided by: The National Bank of Indianapolis, Marlyne Sexton, BKD, Khamis Fine Jewelers, Vera Bradley, and the 500 Festival Foundation. 

To learn more about the 500 Festival Princess Program, please visit 500Festival.com/Princess or search #PrincessProgram on social media.  

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Individual and group photos can be downloaded HERE. 

 

About the 500 Festival 

Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and foster a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $500 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.  

 

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Media Contact: Lindsay Labas 

317.614.6141| llabas@500festival.com