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Meet the 500 Festival Queen Scholar

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Each year, the 500 Festival Princess Program selects 33 academically driven Indiana women attending college in the state to serve as ambassadors for their hometown and school.

Mykah Coleman is a junior education major at Marian University and a graduate of Shortridge High School in Indianapolis. She hopes her experience in the princess program will inspire her future students.

“I plan to go back and teach at schools that need me the most, that don’t have that much recognition, and that have students from low socioeconomic backgrounds just to give back to the community because that’s how I grew up and look where I am today.”

Coleman is the 2023 500 Festival Queen Scholar and received about $2,500 in scholarship money.  

“The Queen Scholar is just the representative of the class of princesses for the year so luckily I was chosen due to the number of outreaches I’ve done and the type of outreaches I’ve done,” Coleman explained.

As Queen Scholar, she will wear the unique 500 Festival 500 Queen’s Crown at 500 Festival Events, will take part in pre-race and Victory Circle celebrations at Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, and represent the 500 Festival at events throughout the year.

Since the program’s founding in 1959, more than 2,000 Indiana women have experienced the honor of being selected as a 500 Festival Princess.

Coleman is the program’s fourth Black Queen Scholar.

“I get to represent and speak up for the underserved and underprivileged communities, especially the little black and brown girls; this is just warming my heart.”

Click here to check out the interest form for the 2024 500 Festival Princess Program.