Editor’s Note: Justice Amick, who is featured in this article, previously wrote for The Daily News.

Each year, more than 300 college-aged women apply to serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival, but only 33 are selected after three rounds of interviews. 

Gaining their tiaras and sashes, Heidi Przytulski and Justice Amick will represent Ball State this year with their outreach programs and service leadership. 

The Daily News sat down with both women to talk about what it’s like to be a 500 Festival Princess and interesting facts about themselves. 

Junior communications major Heidi Przytulski is one of the selected 500 Festival Princesses for 2019. As part of her service and community outreach, Przytulski is working with the Indiana School for the Deaf. Heidi Przytulski, Photo Provided


Heidi Przytulski, junior communication studies major

Q: Why did you apply to be a 500 Festival Princess?

A: As a junior, I have really hit this point in my college career where my mentality changed. I kept telling myself that the worst thing anyone can say is “No.” If I don’t keep pushing myself, I will lose the moments that could have really changed my life, and I didn’t want to lose this one. This competition has always been at the back of my mind, and this year I just decided to go for it. It ended up working out in the best way possible. 

Q: What is something someone wouldn’t know about you from a glance?

A: I was born without the ability to speak. I was born with 48 speech impediments, and I went to speech therapy for almost 13 years. It makes being a communication major very ironic, and I love it.

Q: What are you advocating for as a 500 Festival Princess?

A: I really want to incorporate the Indiana School for the Deaf, ISD, into the program. The school is actually located right behind the Indianapolis fairgrounds, so they are so close, but they don’t get these experiences. I would like to set up a mobile lesson, which would bring a pace car to the school, and I would teach them like a regular class. It has never been done before, and the language barrier is a challenge, but I hope it will work out. 

Q: Have you ever traveled to another country?

A: I have only been to Puerto Rico and Canada, but I have also traveled the U.S. a lot. I have been from Washington, D.C., to Seattle, Washington, and from the Virgin Islands to Alaska. San Francisco, California, is still my favorite place though. 

Q: What is one of the most memorable moments you have had as a 500 Festival Princess so far?

A: I would say the power of a tiara is strong no matter what age you are. Little girls never fail to ask how I got my crown, if I had to win a pageant to become a princess. I love being able to respond and say it’s because of all the hard work I’ve done in college. It’s because of how much volunteering I do for my community. It’s because I try to do what’s right. I didn’t have to win a beauty contest; I just had to work hard and be me. 

Q: What is your favorite show to binge-watch?

A: It wouldn’t really be considered binging because it’s still on air, and I have to wait for new episodes each week, but I love “The Good Doctor.” Shaun Murphy is my love. 

Q: Who would you say is your biggest supporter?

A: I was really worried about the stigma around being a princess because it used to be so different, but everyone has been so supportive and excited for me. My mom is living the dream. She keeps referring to herself as “the queen” since I’m a princess. She is so excited, and she’s given me energy.

Senior journalism major Justice Amick is one of the selected 500 Festival Princesses for 2019. As part of her service and community outreach, Amick will be speaking in classrooms about steps to take toward success. Tier Morrow, DN Tier Morrow, DN


Justice Amick, senior journalism and telecommunications major

Q: Why did you apply to be a 500 Festival Princess?

A: I applied to be a princess mostly because I liked the idea of what the festival was promoting. I'm really big into community service and connecting with communities, which directly connects to my major, journalism. Plus, I knew someone who had done it before, and she said it was one of the best experiences of her life. So I thought, why not? 

Q: What is something someone wouldn’t know about you from a glance?

A: I have myrmecophobia, which is a fear of ants. It stems from my childhood. 

Q: What are you advocating for as a 500 Festival Princess?

A: With my platform, I really wanted to have a concrete theme that I could focus on and impact people with. I created my own initiative called the "Dream it, Do it" initiative where I plan to go to as many classrooms as possible and talk to them about not only the Princess Program but the steps to a successful life — whether that be having courage, being kind or looking out for yourself and your friends. I plan on integrating groups of children into that as well, such as Boys and Girls Clubs. To me, children are the future and we need to make sure we cultivate their minds. 

Q: Have you ever traveled to another country?

A: Yes! I have been to the United Kingdom, France and Italy. 

Q: What would you say is the most difficult part of being a 500 Festival Princess?

A: I think the most difficult part of being a princess would be the fear of missing out on certain things. We all have mandatory events we have to attend, but for most of March and April, we're spread across the state. There are other events we have the option of going to, but sadly, almost half of us won't be able to attend those because we go to college kind of far from Indianapolis. But that's all made up for by creating your own outreaches and connecting to your local community. 

Q: What is your favorite show to binge-watch?

A: My favorite show to binge-watch is definitely “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” 

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a 500 Festival Princess?

A: I think the thing I enjoy the most about being a princess is the impact you have on the state of Indiana and the people in it. Kids look up to you, and people want to hear what you have to say because they know you truly care and most likely know what you're talking about. You get to use a platform to create unity among an entire state. Like, who else gets to do that? 

Contact Tier Morrow with comments at tkmorrow@bsu.edu or on Twitter @tiermorrow