Princess Program Testimonial: Haley Begay

Princess Program Testimonial: Haley Begay

While the crown and sash might say otherwise, the job of being a 500 Festival Princess is not that of royalty, but of servitude. All 33 of us princesses are servants of Indiana. The Indianapolis 500 only lasts half a day, but the service we do will continue on long after this leadership role we possess.

 

An outreach I organized has a special place in my heart. I have always been passionate about domestic violence awareness and have worked to ensure that the horrifying abuse statistics decline. I decided to put on a trike race for the kiddos at an abuse shelter. After sitting in a circle with them and learning Indy 500 trivia, we all gathered at our imaginary start lines. I waved the checkered flag and watched those angels drive off into a chaotic mess. I don’t think one child drove their trike in a straight line, and it was beautiful. To see the laughs and smiles on their faces was a huge moment I will always lock away in my memory of being a princess.

Another wonderful aspect of this program is the friendships that bloom. 33 strangers sat in a room not knowing the name of the woman next to them at orientation. Now, I can confidently name off every princess’ first and last name and where they go to school. The only thing better than serving your community is serving it with amazing women alongside you. Most times, princesses would travel across the state to be at another princess’ outreach. I scheduled a trivia and speech outreach at my old elementary school in Pittsboro. Macy got up in the wee hours of the morning to drive to my school and helped me deliver a speech for the kids. Vanesa drove all the way from IU to help too. The dedication and friendship of these women is certainly hard to find in our fast-paced, social media world.

 

If any young woman is even slightly considering applying to be a princess, I say take the leap and go for it! I would not trade the month of May and the events leading up to it for anything. This experience has been the staple of my semester, and I will miss the constant outreaches and easy access to awesome friendships. However, the princesses and I already keep in touch and are excited for the next chapter in life. While some princesses have graduated, married or started medical school, we all have one thing in common: we are 500 Festival Princesses, and we are the leaders of right now and the future.

 

Learn more about the 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols, and sign-up for the interest list to be notified when applications open up in the fall!