By Sherri Coner
Since 1959, The National Bank of Indianapolis has presented the 500 Festival Princess Program. By identifying college-age women to serve as ambassadors in their hometowns and college and university campuses, the program provides community interaction and leadership experiences.
This May, four of the 33 princesses hail from Center Grove.
As a child, Julia Elizabeth Boston, 21, daughter of Jason and Meghan Boston, wanted to be a 500 Festival Princess.
But when she wasn’t thinking about that goal, Boston had an unusual childhood request.
“I have always loved museums,” she said. “On vacation, that’s all I wanted to go see. As soon as I found out you could work at a museum, I made it my career goal.”
As a senior at Purdue University, Boston has participated in a museum apprenticeship program and interned at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, where she was also involved with several children’s programs.
As a busy princess talking to lots of people, Boston visited students at New Britton Elementary School in Fishers, read a book to them and showed them an official festival princess car.
“It has been so much fun to hear all the stories of fellow race fans,” she said.
Like Boston, Caitlyn Ebert, 22, loved 500 Festival Princess possibilities.
When the dream actually came true, “It brought me to tears,” said the daughter of Dave and Lori Ebert.
Although the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a second home for her family, that’s not true everywhere. In Evansville, Ind., Ebert is a senior at the University of Southern Indiana.
With a degree in graphic design she hopes to work in sports marketing.
Residents in the Evansville area don’t always have Race Day fever.
So this princess dons her crown and shares the Speedway magic.
“I’m trying to leave a little footprint all over Indiana,” Ebert said.
Meredith Fain, 21, daughter of Jim and Shelly Fain, is a junior at Indiana University, studying computer science.
“I plan to work in cybersecurity or security awareness, so I can combine both my technical and creative interests,” Fain said.
Being a princess centers around, “representing women in the computer industry and hopefully encouraging young women interested in the field,” she added.
Fain’s princess highlights include visiting Center Grove High School’s robotics team as a former member and being honored during the Little 500 bike race in Bloomington, Ind.
Magdalene (Maggie) Joseph fell in love with Race Day during her first visit in 2018.
As the youngest child of Mark and Vanessa Joseph, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Although Joseph, 21, expresses interest in travel nursing and several specialty options, becoming a naturopathic physician is also a possibility.
Being a princess “enables young women to step up in their communities and in the professional world,” Joseph said.