HANCOCK COUNTY — Two years after reigning over downtown Greenfield as the 2014 Riley Festival queen, Kylee Stewart is putting on another crown.
The Mt. Vernon High School graduate has been selected as a 2016 500 Festival Princess.
Stewart of Greenfield, a junior at IUPUI who is studying journalism, is one of 33 college-aged women selected to be part of the 500 Festival Princess Program.
The 500 Festival Princess Program endeavors to celebrate Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven, college-aged women, according to a press release. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with opportunities for leadership, networking and professional development through the program’s personal and professional development initiative.
Stewart said she looks forward to helping children in need in Hancock County during her reign as a 500 Festival Princess.
“It’s really fun to talk to the kids about the Indy 500,” she said.
Stewart said she most looks forward to having a mentor from the program to give her career advice.
Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible in part by the 500 Festival Foundation. 500 Festival Princesses also get involved in statewide community outreach programs, volunteering at 500 Festival events and participating in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, including the prerace 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 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 their communication skills, commitment to service, leadership, scholarship and professionalism.