Three Hendricks County Women Selected as 2024 500 Festival Princesses

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 21, 2024) –The 500 Festival today announces the three college-aged women from Hendricks County who have been selected as 2024 500 Festival Princesses.  

Josephine Cialkowski, Pittsboro, a graduate of Tri-West Hendricks High School, and a senior at Ball State University majoring in pre-medical preparation and biology. 

Michaela Di Palmo, Avon, a graduate of Avon High School, and a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis majoring in music therapy and psychology. 

Amanda Fulcher, Clayton, a graduate of Indiana Connections Academy, and a sophomore at Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis majoring in medical assisting. 

The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, has a long history of celebrating Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women. While holding the title of a 500 Festival Princess, these 33 women will have the opportunity to create meaningful connections across the state, gain mentorship and leadership from the 500 Festival Board of Directors, and develop professional skills.   

These Princesses will have the chance to experience the Month of May in a special way, by educating Hoosiers about the iconic history of the 500 Festival through the statewide outreach program, celebrating the spirit of the Indianapolis 500, and serving their communities. The 2024 500 Festival Princesses represent 18 Indiana colleges and universities and 23 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.74 this year’s 500 Festival Princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on leadership, academic  

Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies, and the 500 Festival Foundation. Khamis Fine Jewelers, the official and exclusive jeweler of the 500 Festival Princess Program, will gift each Princess a custom pendant that includes a heart, which symbolizes the heart of a princess, an emerald that represents May’s birthstone, and the iconic Yard of Bricks to represent Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. 

This year’s class represents a diverse group of women with various areas of study that include cybersecurity and global policy, graphic design, music therapy, public health, and neuroscience. 

“We are thrilled to observe all the ways that this year’s class of 500 Festival Princesses will impact the communities in Indiana and enable them to showcase their leadership and academic skills,” said Bob Bryant, 500 Festival president and CEO. “The 500 Festival is proud to see these 33 young women take this opportunity to create lasting memories, outstanding networking experiences, and meaningful friendships for years to come.” 

Each year, the Princesses deliver over 1,500 hours of community outreach, impacting over 50,000 people and sparking the excitement of the Indianapolis 500 in a significant way. This outreach assists the excitement of the Indianapolis 500 in a significant way. 

The 2024 500 Festival Queen Scholar will be announced on Saturday, May 18, during the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc. The 500 Festival Queen Scholar will be gifted an additional $1,500 scholarship. 

As these young women represent the 500 Festival, they play a vital role in fulfilling the 500 Festival’s mission to create a positive impact on Indianapolis and the state of Indiana, as well as celebrating the spirit of the Indianapolis 500. 

To request a visit from a 500 Festival Princess, click HERE. 

The 500 Festival Princess Program is supported by: The National Bank of Indianapolis, Marlyne Sexton, Khamis Fine Jewelers, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the 500 Festival Foundation. 

To learn more about the 500 Festival Princess Program, please visit or search #PrincessProgram on social media.  

About Brian Scott

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