#PRINCESSPROGRAM

500 Festival Princess Program

500 Festival Princess Program

Presented By The National Bank of Indianapolis
Indiana’s next generation of leaders

Cultivating Indiana’s Next Great Leaders!

The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, is a tribute to Indiana’s most community-oriented and academically accomplished young women. Every year, 33 college-aged women are selected as 500 Festival Princesses, entrusted with the role of being ambassadors for the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their respective colleges and universities.

Being a 500 Festival Princess opens the door to unparalleled experiences and an abundance of leadership and professional growth prospects. Since its inception in 1959, over 2,000 outstanding Indiana women have had the honor of being selected as 500 Festival Princesses, leaving a lasting impact on their college campuses and communities.

Applications for the 2024 Princess Program are currently closed. Interested in applying for next year? Fill out the interest form found below!

Cultivating Indiana’s Next Great Leaders!

The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, is a tribute to Indiana’s most community-oriented and academically accomplished young women. Every year, 33 college-aged women are selected as 500 Festival Princesses, entrusted with the role of being ambassadors for the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their respective colleges and universities.

Being a 500 Festival Princess opens the door to unparalleled experiences and an abundance of leadership and professional growth prospects. Since its inception in 1959, over 2,000 outstanding Indiana women have had the honor of being selected as 500 Festival Princesses, leaving a lasting impact on their college campuses and communities.

Applications for the 2024 Princess Program are currently closed. Interested in applying for next year? Fill out the interest form found below!

Meet the 2024 500 Festival Princess Class!

The 2024 500 Festival Princesses represented 18 Indiana colleges and universities and 23 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.74, this class was selected from hundreds of applicants based on communication skills, academic performance, community involvement, commitment to service, and leadership.

Lauren Bailey

Lauren Bailey

Hometown: Carmel, Carmel High School, Sophomore Purdue University: Business Analytics and Information Management

Elizabeth Baker

Elizabeth Baker

Hometown: Noblesville, Noblesville High School, Graduate Student Indiana University: School of Medicine Undergraduate: Spanish and Biology

Bridget Bane

Bridget Bane

Hometown: Churubusco, Carroll High School, Senior Purdue University Fort Wayne: Education Studies

Briana Begeman

Briana Begeman

Hometown: Avon, Avon High School, Sophomore Indiana University: Law and Public Policy

Josephine Cialkowski

Josephine Cialkowski

Hometown: Pittsboro, Tri-West Hendricks High School, Senior Ball State University: Pre-Medical Preparation and Biology

Caitlyn Cook

Caitlyn Cook

Hometown: Martinsville, Martinsville High School, Senior University of Indianapolis: Public Health Education and Promotion

Marin Davis

Marin Davis

Hometown: Zionsville, Zionsville Community High School, Sophomore Purdue University: Political Science

Avery Dawson

Avery Dawson

Hometown: Brookston, Tri-County High School, Junior Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: Policy Studies

Michaela Di Palmo

Michaela Di Palmo

Hometown: Avon, Avon High School, Senior Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: Music Therapy and Psychology

Lissania Perez Diaz

Lissania Perez Diaz

Hometown: Indianapolis, Riverside High School, Junior Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: Chemistry and Law

Elaine Dorsey

Elaine Dorsey

Hometown: Indianapolis, Cathedral High School, Senior Indiana University: Informatics

Amanda Fulcher

Amanda Fulcher

Hometown: Clayton, Indiana Connections Academy, Sophomore Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis: Medical Assisting

Lindsey Herrera

Lindsey Herrera

Hometown: Winchester, Winchester Community High School, Senior Ball State University: Physics, Anderson University: Mechanical Engineering

Alana Jardenil

Alana Jardenil

Hometown: Valparaiso, Chesterton High School, Sophomore University of Notre Dame: Neuroscience and Behavior

Mary Jones

Mary Jones

Hometown: Monroe, Adams Central High School, Freshman University of Saint Francis: Communications and Marketing

Gracie Madison

Gracie Madison

Hometown: Montgomery, Barr-Reeve Jr./Sr. High School, Junior University Southern Indiana: Marketing, Public Relations, and Advertising

Jaslin Martinez

Jaslin Martinez

Hometown: Noblesville, Fishers High School, Senior Purdue University: Public Health, Pre-Physician's Assistant

Alyssa McKillip

Alyssa McKillip

Hometown: Wabash, Northfield Jr./Sr. High School, Senior Butler University: Psychology with concentration in Pre-Medicine

Kendrick Mernitz

Kendrick Mernitz

Hometown: Carmel, Cathedral High School, Senior Indiana University: Cybersecurity, Global Policy, and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

Shaina Miller

Shaina Miller

Hometown: Evansville, Signature School, Sophomore Ball State University: Political Science

Cassie Mitchell

Cassie Mitchell

Hometown: Indianapolis, Providence Cristo Rey High School, Sophomore Marian University: Graphic Design and Communication

Hannah Mullen

Hannah Mullen

Hometown: Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern High School, Junior Ball State University: Graphic Design

Parmida Nazarloo

Parmida Nazarloo

Hometown: Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern High School, Junior Indiana University: Human Biology

Mazvita Ndhlovu

Mazvita Ndhlovu

Hometown: Indianapolis, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, Junior Indiana University: Public Health

Morgan Nelson

Morgan Nelson

Hometown: Marion, Oak Hill High School, Senior Franklin College: Biomedical Sciences

Sarah Papabathini

Sarah Papabathini

Hometown: Indianapolis, Eastern High School, Junior Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: Artificial Intelligence

Julia Prickett

Julia Prickett

Hometown: Shelbyville, Shelbyville High School, Senior Purdue University: Mass/Media Communications and Meteorology

Sarah Ripperger

Sarah Ripperger

Hometown: Metamora, Batesville High School, Junior Butler University: Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Kaitlyn Ross

Kaitlyn Ross

Hometown: Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern High School, Indiana University Maurer School of Law: First-Year Law Student and Biology

Jillian Turner

Jillian Turner

Hometown: Terre Haute, Terre Haute South Vigo High School, Junior at Indiana State University: Insurance and Risk Management

Libbie Waterman

Libbie Waterman

Hometown: Indianapolis, North Central High School, Junior at Marian University: Social Work

Luci Woodrum

Luci Woodrum

Hometown: Morgantown, Indian Creek High School, Junior at Marian University: Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness, and Finance

Delaney Zeck

Delaney Zeck

Hometown: Galveston, Lewis Cass High School, Junior at Indiana University Kokomo: Nursing

As ambassadors of the 500 Festival, Princesses play a critical role in the execution of the 500 Festival’s mission to produce 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 the state of Indiana. The 33 Princesses participate in the 500 Festival’s Statewide Outreach Program, which educates Hoosiers about the history and legacy of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 as well as our various events and programs. 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.

500 Festival Princesses conduct many outreach opportunities, including visits to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, community celebrations, and various youth programs.

Please complete the request form below if you would like the 500 Festival Princesses to visit your event.

Completion of the request form does not guarantee an appearance. If you have questions or need additional information, please get in touch with 500 Festival Princess Program Director, Laura Bliss, at lbliss@500Festival.com.

Click here for the Princess Outreach Request Form

In 2015, the 500 Festival added a $1,000 scholarship for each of the 33 500 Festival Princess selected to the program, made possible by the 500 Festival Foundation and Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of the Sexton Companies. Prior to 2015, only the woman selected as the 500 Festival Queen Scholar received a scholarship. In 2019, Marlyne Sexton made a generous commitment to the 500 Festival Foundation to establish a fund enduring that scholarships for all 33 500 Festival Princess will be covered in perpetuity.oes Here
Please complete the interest form below to be notified when applications open.
A 500 Festival Princess
  • Represents the 500 Festival by actively supporting its mission, values, and goals.
  • Participates in 500 Festival outreach initiatives throughout Indiana. This includes conducting programming in their hometown and other communities around Indiana on behalf of the organization and the Princess Program.
  • Engages with activities surrounding the 500 Festival and Indianapolis Motor Speedway throughout Spring 2024.
  • Learns by taking advantage of opportunities for personal development, volunteerism, and community involvement.
  • Has fun and makes new friends through volunteerism—one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of participation in the 500 Festival Princess Program.
Mandatory Events
  • Saturday, February 17: 500 Festival Princess Program Orientation
  • Saturday, May 4: OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon
  • Saturday, May 11: Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day & Rookie Run
  • Saturday, May 18: 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc. & 500 Festival Volunteer Appreciation Day
  • Friday, May 24: The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service
  • Saturday, May 25: AES 500 Festival Parade
  • Sunday, May 26: 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500

NOTE: All dates/times are subject to change. Exceptions for major life events (college graduation, weddings for immediate family members, etc.) will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Community Outreach Program

As ambassadors for the 500 Festival, the 500 Festival Princesses play a critical role in the organization’s statewide outreach initiative. Each 500 Festival Princess will be responsible for securing community outreaches within her hometown, college town, or Indianapolis. They will work closely with the 500 Festival staff to develop messaging, talking points, and presentations. These outreaches will take place from February through May of 2024.

Encouraged Events 

In addition to the mandatory activities, the 2024 500 Festival Princesses are encouraged to participate in other community and 500 Festival activities, including: 

  • Saturday, March 9: 500 Festival 6-Miler, presented by OrthoIndy
  • Saturday, April 6: 500 Festival 10-Miler, presented by OrthoIndy
  • Wednesday, May 1: 500 Festival Kickoff to May
  • March 2024: Mobile study trips for the 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health
  • April 2024: Study trips for the 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health
  • February-May 2024: Visits with fellow 500 Festival Princesses to Statewide Outreach efforts at community centers, hometown schools, community organizations/associations and hospitals around the state
  • Thursday, May 2 – Friday, May 3: 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo

NOTE: All dates/times are subject to change

Additional 500 Festival Princess Program Policies
  • Selection as a 2024 500 Festival Princess prohibits eligibility in any future 500 Festival Princess selections.
  • 500 Festival Princesses are expected to act professionally at all times. Inappropriate behavior and/or attire at the 500 Festival, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (heretofore referred to as “IMS”), IndyCar, or related events can result in immediate dismissal. Immediate dismissal will occur after any of the following instances but is not limited to conviction of a felony or misdemeanor, illegal use of alcohol and/or drugs, public indecency, public nuisance, and/or any behavior deemed by the 500 Festival and/or the IMS as detrimental to the interest of the 500 Festival and/or the IMS, its representatives, sponsors, or licensees. In cases of dismissal, the Princess shall forfeit all rights, titles, or claims to any title designations, scholarships, prizes, or awards.
  • Smoking and/or drinking alcoholic beverages are not allowed at 500 Festival/IndyCar/IMS events. Any Princess smoking and/or drinking at aforementioned events and/or while wearing Princess attire will be immediately dismissed.
  • 500 Festival Princesses may take part in contests, leadership development, or other scholarship programs throughout their time in the 500 Festival Princess Program. However, if a scheduling conflict should arise, the Princess agrees to make the 500 Festival events and activities her top priority throughout the months of April and May.
  • The Princesses acknowledge it is in the interest and benefit of the 500 Festival and IMS to make appearances on behalf of the 500 Festival and IMS, including but not limited to, radio, television, other broadcast media, charitable service appearances, endorsement, or advertising appearances, without compensation.
  • Fraternization between IndyCar staff, drivers, crew members, and guests of the IMS and/or the 500 Festival by Princesses during their term is forbidden by the 500 Festival. Such conduct may result in immediate dismissal and is at the sole discretion of the 500 Festival. The 500 Festival will act as the final decision maker on all issues of conduct as outlined in this agreement.
  • Candidates who have an immediate family member currently employed by the 500 Festival, currently serving on the 500 Festival Board of Directors, or currently employed by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are not subject to preferential treatment in the 2023 500 Festival Princess Program selection process.
  • Concerning all social media outlets: Inappropriate content posted on the internet, as determined by the 500 Festival, may lead to dismissal and/or other appropriate action by the 500 Festival. This rule also applies to sites and/or web pages with “private” settings.
  • Dismissal requires the relinquishing of all gifts you have received as a 2023 500 Festival Princess.
  • No Princess will participate in any outreach, media appearance, social media endeavor, or event as a 500 Festival Princess without express consent from the 500 Festival’s Princess Program Director. Additionally, all outreach endeavors must be approved by the 500 Festival.
  • Excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness can result in your dismissal as a 500 Festival Princess.
  • One 500 Festival Princess will be selected to serve as the 500 Festival Queen Scholar. The 500 Festival Queen Scholar will have the opportunity to participate in 500 Festival and Indianapolis Motor Speedway events throughout May. In addition, she will be asked to make media and public appearances on behalf of the 500 Festival. She will work closely with the 500 Festival staff to develop messaging, talking points, and presentations.

The 500 Festival Princess Program was launched in 1959 and since then, nearly 2,100 of Indiana’s brightest young women have participated in this program. If you’re a Princess Program alumna, we want to hear from you!

Please fill out → this form so we can keep in touch and send updates regarding the Princess Program, Alumnae events, 500 Festival volunteer opportunities, and more!

#PRINCESSPROGRAM

Benefits Of The 500 Festival Princess Program

Each 500 Festival Princess will receive the following:

  • Opportunity to serve as an ambassador for the 500 Festival, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, city of Indianapolis, and the state of Indiana

  • $1,000 scholarship to assist with educational expenses, made possible by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies, and the 500 Festival Foundation

  • Leadership development opportunities and unique access to professional development and networking events

  • Opportunities to create lifelong connections with business and community leaders

  • 500 Festival branded apparel

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS