The 500 Festival announced on Wednesday that 33 college-aged women from across Indiana have been selected to serve as 2016 500 Festival
Princesses. Brittany Young, a graduate of Hauser High School and freshman at Ivy Tech University, was among those named a 2016 Princess.
Rachel Eckerle, who is part of the public relations team for the 500 Festival, says the 500 Princess Program has “a long history of celebrating Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven college-aged women.” She adds that 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.”
Eckerle says that each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible in part by the 500 Festival Foundation. The ladies will also be involved with the 500 Festival’s statewide community outreach programs, volunteering at 500 Festival events and participating in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions. This includes 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. She continued, “The 500 Festival is proud to take the lead on investing our time and resources to shape Indiana’s next generation of leaders.”
Eckerle notes that the 2016 500 Festival Princesses represent 13 Indiana colleges and universities, along with 21 cities and towns across the state. She adds that this year’s 500 Festival Princesses were selected on a number of factors, including communication skills, leadership, scholarship, and professionalism.
Other area women selected as 2016 500 Festival Princesses include:
Jessi Arbuckle, Greenwood, a graduate of Center Grove High School and a junior at Taylor University majoring Public Relations
Elyse Hoy, Greenwood, a senior at Center Grove High School and a sophomore at Franklin College studying Biology and Pre-Med
Morgan Lee, Greenwood, a graduate of Center Grove High School and a junior at Indiana Wesleyan University majoring in Nursing
Nilofer Rajpurkar, Greenwood, a graduate of Center Grove High School and a junior at Purdue University majoring in Biomedical Engineering