Cultivating Indiana’s Next Generation of Leaders
The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols Jewelers, celebrates Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women. Each year, 33 college-aged women are selected as 500 Festival Princesses and serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their colleges/universities. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with once-in-a-life-time experiences and countless opportunities for leadership and professional development. Since the program’s founding in 1959, nearly 2,000 Indiana women have experienced the honor of being selected as a 500 Festival Princess.
Each 500 Festival Princess will participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by BKD, further empowering 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.
In the months leading up to May, 500 Festival Princesses are involved with statewide outreach programs, including visits to hospitals, schools and various youth programs. Princesses will attend and volunteer at all 500 Festival events throughout the month of May, are present at various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, and participate in the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the Indianapolis 500.
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 state of Indiana
- $1,000 scholarship to assist with educational expenses
- Participation in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by BKD, which provides various opportunities for personal and professional development experiences
- Opportunities to create lifelong connections with business and community leaders
- Complimentary clothing to wear to various events
- Custom-made jewelry
Additional support of the 500 Festival Princess Program is provided by: Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Vera Bradley, BKD, RaeLynn’s Boutique and The Sanctuary on Penn.