February 17, 2016
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb 17, 2016) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization committed to enriching the quality of life for Indiana residents and visitors, today announced that 33 college-aged women from across Indiana have been selected from a record number of applicants to serve as 2016 500 Festival Princesses.
The 500 Festival Princess Program has a long history of celebrating Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven college-aged women. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with countless opportunities for leadership, networking, and professional development. 500 Festival Princesses will participate in the program’s personal and professional development initiative, which empowers participants to make a profound impact within their community and Indiana.
Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible in part by the 500 Festival Foundation. 500 Festival Princesses are also provided with once-in-a-life-time experiences, including involvement with the 500 Festival’s statewide community outreach programs, volunteering at 500 Festival events and participating in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, including the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
“For more than 50 years, the 500 Festival Princess Program has recognized Indiana’s brightest college-aged women. The program’s new personal and professional development initiative and the scholarships given to each young woman will reinforce its rich history,” said Leslie Carter-Prall, 500 Festival board member and princess program committee co-chair. “The 500 Festival is proud to take the lead on investing our time and resources to shape Indiana’s next generation of leaders.”
The 2016 500 Festival Princesses represent 13 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.5, this year’s 500 Festival Princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based upon on communication skills, poise, academic performance and community involvement.
The 2016 500 Festival Princesses, Indiana hometown, high school, college or university and area of study are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Jessi Arbuckle, Greenwood, a graduate of Center Grove High School and a junior at Taylor University majoring Public Relations
Shelby Bradford, Warren, a graduate of Huntington North High School and a senior at IUPUI majoring in Nursing
Sarah Correll, Macy, a graduate of North Miami High School and a senior at Purdue University majoring in Agricultural Education and Agricultural Economics
Bianca Davis, Indianapolis, a graduate of Ben Davis High School and a senior at Indiana University majoring in Economic Consulting and Public Policy Analysis
Nina DeWitt, Stilesville, a graduate of Brownsburg High School and a junior at IUPUI majoring in Biology and Spanish
Caitlyn Foye, Newburgh, a graduate of Castle High School and a sophomore at Butler University majoring in Biology
Alyssa Garnett, Winamac, a graduate of Winamac Community High School and a second year graduate student at Purdue University earning a Masters of Business Administration
Alexandra Harris, Bloomington, a graduate of Bloomington High School North and a senior at Indiana University majoring in Arts Management
Madeline Hayden, Plainfield, a graduate of Madeline Hayden and a junior at Purdue University majoring in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences
Allison Hoffman, Huntingburg, a graduate of Forest Park Jr.-Sr. High School and a senior at Purdue University majoring in Professional Flight Technology
Elyse Hoy, Greenwood, a senior at Center Grove High School and a sophomore at Franklin College studying Biology and Pre-Med
Morgan Jacobs, Fishers, a graduate of Pendleton Heights High School and a sophomore at Indiana State University majoring in Business
Kayla Keith, Carmel, a graduate of Westfield High School and a senior at IUPUI majoring in Tourism, Convention and Event Management
Christy Kettler, Westfield, a graduate of Hamilton Heights High School and a junior at Purdue University majoring in Agronomy with a focus in Crop and Soil Management
Amber Kriech, Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School and a junior at IUPUI majoring in Organizational Leadership and Supervision
Rebecca Kuhlman, Indianapolis, a graduate of Franklin Central High School and a senior at Marian University majoring in Communication
Morgan Lee, Greenwood, a graduate of Center Grove High School and a junior at Indiana Wesleyan University majoring in Nursing
Samantha Lozano, East Chicago, a graduate of East Chicago Central High School and a senior at Indiana University majoring in Political Science and Spanish
Claire McElwain, Zionsville, a graduate of Zionsville Community High School and a junior at Indiana University majoring in Journalism
Macy Nikirk, Bedford, a graduate of Bedford Lawrence North High School and a sophomore at IUPUI majoring in Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Katelyn OMara, Indianapolis, a graduate of Perry Meridian High School and a senior at Franklin College majoring in Psychology and Studio Art with a focus in Painting
Brianna Perry, Poseyville, a graduate of North Posey High School and a junior at the University of Southern Indiana majoring in Exercise Science and Pre-Physical Therapy
Nilofer Rajpurkar, Greenwood, a graduate of Center Grove High School and a junior at Purdue University majoring in Biomedical Engineering
Bukhti Shabbir, Indianapolis, a graduate of Twin Lakes Senior High and a post graduate student at the University of Indianapolis majoring in Physical Therapy
Briana Smith, Carmel, a graduate of Cathedral High School and a junior at Purdue University majoring in Psychology
Madison Stahl, Fishers, a graduate of Fishers High School and a junior at Indiana University majoring in Elementary Education
Ally Stein, Fishers, a graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School and a junior at Purdue University majoring in Education
Kylee Stewart, Greenfield, a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School and a junior at IUPUI majoring in Journalism
Bailey Troutman, Anderson, a sophomore at Indiana University Kokomo majoring in Communication Arts
Caitlyn Waldrop, Hillsdale, a graduate of South Vermillion High School and a senior at Indiana University studying Biology and Pre-Med
Kayla Wilson, Fishers, a graduate of Fishers High School and a freshman at IUPUI majoring in Civic Leadership
Monica Wright, Indianapolis, a graduate of Cathedral High School and a sophomore at Butler University majoring in Marketing and International Business
Brittany Young, Columbus, a graduate of Hauser High School and a freshman at Ivy Tech Community College of Columbus majoring in Agricultural Education
One of these young women will be selected as the 2016 500 Festival Queen and will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The queen will be crowned May 21st during the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc.
Support of the 500 Festival Princess Program is provided by: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Vera Bradley, The Sanctuary on Penn, retro 101, Macy’s, and the 500 Festival Foundation.
To learn more about 500 Festival’s events and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.500festival.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Individual and group photos can be viewed online 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 while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering 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 $350 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.