May 20, 2023
The 500 Festival today announced that Mykah Coleman of Indianapolis, IN, has been named the 2023 500 Festival Queen Scholar. The announcement was made at the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc., event held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Coleman is a junior at Marian University and pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. She is actively involved in Marian College Mentors for Kids, serving as the program’s General Manager, and proudly represents her school as a Marian Ambassador and a Klipsch Educator Ambassador. She also serves as the President of Kappa Delta Pi, an Honors Society for Educators, and is also a 21st Century Scholar and a Student Mentor.
Coleman is one of 33 Indiana college-aged women selected for the 2023 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, in which they serve as ambassadors for the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their colleges and universities. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with countless opportunities for leadership, networking, and professional development. The 500 Festival Princesses have had the opportunity to participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by FORVIS, which empowers participants to make a profound impact within their community and Indiana. In the months leading up to May, the 500 Festival Princesses perform outreaches with community organizations, volunteer at 500 Festival events, and participate in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions.
Each 500 Festival Princess receives a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies, and the 500 Festival Foundation. In addition, each 500 Festival Princess is gifted with a custom pendant, courtesy of Khamis Fine Jewelers.
“I am beyond grateful to have this role as a princess because I am able to be an inspiration to all of the little black and brown girls and boys to show them that no matter what background you come from, what school you went to, what neighborhood you grew up in, you can be amazing and do great things,” said Coleman. “As a future educator, I can use the skills that I’ve gained from the Princess Program as well as Nicole by always encouraging my students to be the best them possible and to be a leader and positive change-maker in this ever-changing world.”
As the 500 Festival Queen Scholar, Coleman is the recipient of an additional $1,500 educational scholarship from the 500 Festival Foundation. She will wear the one-of-a-kind 500 Festival Queen Scholar’s crown at 500 Festival events and the Indianapolis 500 and participate in a variety of activities throughout the week, including the Indianapolis 500 pre-race and Victory Circle celebrations. She will continue to represent the 500 Festival at various functions throughout the year.
The 2023 Princess class represents 19 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.71, 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.
Support of the 500 Festival Princess Program is provided by: The National Bank of Indianapolis, Marlyne Sexton, FORVIS, Khamis Fine Jewelers, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the 500 Festival Foundation.
To learn more about the 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, please visit 500festival.com/Princess or search #PrincessProgram on social media.