2 Carmel High School grads aim to lead as Princesses


A desire for community involvement motivated Lauren Bailey and Kendrick Mernitz to apply for the 500 Festival Princess Program.

The Carmel High School graduates were among the 33 Princesses selected this year.

Bailey, a Purdue University sophomore majoring in business analytics and information management, said she knows some of the past 500 Festival Princesses.

“My mom had brought it to my attention and pushed me a little bit in terms of wanting to try it out,” Bailey said. “But what made me want to take that step and actually go through the process is that I’ve had a lot of opportunities in leadership throughout my life, but I really have been wanting to open it up to a more philanthropic setting where I’m able to impact people in more areas. Mostly sports is where I’ve been able to lead.

“So, this was a great opportunity for me to be able to bring some of my experiences leading groups of people and creating positive environments and a sense of community on a larger scale.”

Bailey competed in soccer and track and field all four years at CHS and played basketball as a freshman. She said she led by example and tried to create a positive culture on her teams.

“Being able to do this, I feel it’s come full circle, because I’m able to be tasked with empowering the community,” said Bailey, who plays on a club soccer team at Purdue.

Mernitz graduated from Indiana University after majoring in cybersecurity, global policy and Middle Eastern languages. She will start at IU law school in Bloomington this fall.

“I wanted to get involved with the community and I love working with youth,” Mernitz said. “So, this seemed like a perfect way to do that. I have an outreach at a senior home and another with some kids that I worked with prior to the 500 Festival. It will be fun to bring that festival excitement to them.”