Being a princess is the dream of many young children, and UIndy student Shylah Beauchamp is living out this dream this summer. Shylah, a nursing student with a minor in sociology at the University of Indianapolis, has been chosen to be part of the Indianapolis 500 Festival Princess Program.
Shylah learned about the program from other UIndy students who have participated. “I would see past Princesses post about their programs, and I thought it sounded awesome. So I applied,” Shylah said. The process was intensive—there were a few applications, several interviews, and questions about each persons’ background and involvement in the community. Shylah stayed positive throughout the process, telling herself that even if she wasn’t selected for the program, she at least was able to work on her interviewing skills for future opportunities, but she was able to earn her spot in the program.
As a 500 Festival Princess, Shylah will be able to attend the Mini Marathon, the Indy 500 race, and the 500 Festival Parade. “It’s going to be so much fun,” Shylah said. “We were just voted the number one mini marathon in the US, which is huge!”
Service is one of the most important aspects of the 500 Festival Princess Program. Shylah volunteers at Little Red Door Cancer Agency in downtown Indianapolis, where extra care is given to those diagnosed with cancer. As a nursing major, Shylah wishes to help those who might not receive the same level of care as generally healthy people. “I think a lot of the time we focus on the healthy kids or the healthy elders, and I just want to help emphasize the fact that people with other diagnoses are just as important as the people who are healthy, and we need to spend the same amount of time with them.”
Shylah also participates in the University of Indianapolis Dance Marathon—an eight-hour event in which students dance to raise money for Riley Hospital. The profits go to child life and research. “We have a big day of a dance marathon, which is really a celebration of what we’ve done throughout the year. Riley kids and families come. It’s a really exciting day,” Shylah said. This year, Shylah is the president of the Dance Marathon. She describes the event as a large family gathering, where everyone is encouraging and the kids have role models to look up to.
After graduation, Shylah is hoping to work at Eskenazi Health in downtown Indianapolis in the emergency room as a nurse. Shylah added her sociology minor to ensure her understanding of the different kinds of people she will treat in her future. Shylah said, “We see so many paths of life, and it was really important for me to understand where people come from. Indianapolis is so diverse, and sociology helps me understand why people make the choices they do. It was really important for me to learn about.”
Shylah praises her nursing faculty for their dedication and faith they have in their students. “Basically, all of the nursing professors are incredible and really inspire me to be the best nurse I can be, but also the best human I can be.”
To incoming freshmen, Shylah urges persistence. “Don’t give up,” she said. “There were so many times I didn’t know if I was cut out for this. But just keep going; you’ll get through and have fun. I’ve met my best friends and made other friendships I’ll cherish forever just by putting myself out there and going to events.” She urges incoming students to make the most out of their four undergraduate years, because they will go by quickly.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the 500 Festival Princess Program, you can reach out to Shylah at her email: email@example.com.