Five Butler students selected for 500 Festival Princess Program

From left to right, Darby DeFord, Sarah Knight, Lauren Koester, Jenna Nosek and Erin Dark. Photo courtesy of Darby DeFord. 

KRYSTA SMITH | STAFF REPORTER | knsmith2@butler.edu

Out of hundreds of applications every year,  33 college-aged women are selected based on communication skills, academic performance and community involvement. by the Indy 500 Festival to become princesses. Five of these princesses are students here at Butler—2 juniors, 2 seniors and a graduate student.

Erin Dark, senior/second year pharmacy major

Hometown: West Lafayette, Indiana

Why did you choose to apply to the Princess Program?:

“It all started when I started living in Indy four years ago. By being down here, Butler really opened my eyes of what Indy meant to me. I decided I wanted to be able to serve the community with other civic women, so I applied to this non-profit festival.”

What are you most looking forward to about the program?:

“I am looking forward to all the events and am excited to be a part of them all. However, I am a huge fan of the mini marathon. It’s a great way to bring everyone together. All the events are outreach opportunities that help spread the importance of the program and the community. I am excited to make this into my own opportunity.”

What does it mean to you be selected for this program?:

“Well being selected for this program means a lot to me. I am honored to have been selected for there were many women who applied and only 33 were selected. I have worked hard throughout the years and it’s so nice to see rewards for development. This program is very life-enriching and fosters positive impact, which is very exciting to be a part of.”

 

Darby DeFord, senior biology and chemistry major

Hometown: Spencer, Indiana

Why did you choose to apply to the Princess Program?:

“A lot of people at Butler spoke really highly of it. They’ve had a lot of Butler girls in the past apply to the program. It wasn’t really something I had experienced as a kid and it wasn’t something that I’d been working toward for a long time, but I looked it up and it seemed like something that would benefit me as well as. I’ve been trying to give back to Indiana because I got to go to college and because I live here it seemed like a really neat program that allowed a bunch of us to celebrate Indiana so that really struck me.”

What are you most looking forward to about the program:

“The month of May is going to be really fun. When May comes along and when school is out, that’s when we’re getting into the nitty gritty of the parade and the race itself. I’m just really excited to be part of such a historical event. I’ve only ever been to the race twice and I was a child both times, so I’m excited to go back and be a part of that whole tradition.”

What does it mean to you be selected for this program?:

“Oh, it means a lot. I was really really shocked that I got it. Actually, for my second interview, my car wouldn’t start so I ended up being late, so it was just a day. But it kind of made me think highly of myself that they thought highly enough of me to select me for this. It’s kind of a self-esteem boost and it speaks to my resilience. I was so pleased to be announced one of the princesses with four other Butler students and just be in the midst of like-minded women. It’s been a little bit overwhelming.”

 

Sarah Knight, junior health science and chemistry minor

Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana

Why did you choose to apply to the Princess Program?:

“The princess program is a great leadership opportunity. It fosters impact in the community, like with going to a local middle school for breakfast week, which is something I’ve always want to do. I wanted to become an Indy 500 princess and am honored to have be chosen.”

What are you most looking forward to about the program?:

“I am looking forward to using this platform and opportunity to serve. I am also looking forward to the activities like making sashes and crowns with the kids. Everyone should research and be aware of the upcoming events because they are great and fun opportunities to get involved.”

What does it mean to you be selected for this program?:

“Being selected for this program was an honor. I went to the Indy 500 back in 2015 and have wanted to apply since. I especially wanted to apply during my freshman and sophomore year, but during my freshman year, I was still trying to get used to the whole college thing and my sophomore year was still busy. I decided to wait until my junior year due to academic duties. I wanted to be able to put my whole heart into it.”

 

Lauren Koester, senior communications science and disorders major 

Hometown: Brookville, Indiana

Why did you choose to apply to the Princess Program?:

“I chose to apply because it is a great way to continue service. It fosters positive impact in the community, and I think that is important to be a part of.”

What are you most looking forward to about the program?:

“I am really looking forward to meeting the other thirty-two princesses that were also selected. I am also looking forward to being able to use my passion for service throughout.”

What does it mean to you be selected for this program?:

“I am truly amazed. It has been a huge honor to be chosen for it has really taken a community to help me get to where I am now and I couldn’t be more thankful”

 

Jenna Nosek, junior biology and classical studies major

Hometown: Greenfield, Indiana

Why did you choose to apply to the Princess Program?:

“I decide to apply to the Princess Program because I knew a former student who ended up encouraging me to do so. I also applied because I am into serving the community and giving back any way that I can.”

What are you most looking forward to about the program?:

“I am most looking forward to a lot of things. I’m excited for the races and to see everyone get together for a cause. I am also excited to get to know the other princesses, especially the other four princesses from Butler. I look forward to giving back to the community as well.”

What does it mean to you be selected for this program?:

“It’s a big honor. I am able to give back to the community and become a positive role model for many people.”

 

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