Kentucky Derby Festival announces 2020 Royal Court

Kentucky Derby Festival announces 2020 Royal Court
The 2020 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court (From left to right: Hannah Robb, Molly Jett, Leah Hazelwood, Hannah Edelen and Giavanna Combs) (Source: Kentucky Derby Festival)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The countdown to the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Derby Festival has officially begun, and on Monday morning, KDF announced the five women that will be a part of the 2020 Royal Court.

The women were announced at a ceremony Monday morning at the Macy’s store in Oxmoor Center. They will attend nearly 70 events over the course of the two-week festival.

The newly appointed court were announced as:

  • Giavanna (Gia) Combs, 20, from Louisville, Ky., is a junior at the University of Louisville majoring in psychology with a minor in Pan-African Studies. She is a Woodford R. Porter Scholar, Denny Crum Scholar, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She also participated in the medical companion program with the Louisville Veterans Affairs Hospital.
  • Hannah Maria Edelen, 21, from Springfield, Ky., is a senior at Northern Kentucky University dual majoring in History and Communication Studies with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Honors. She was the 2018-2019 Student Body President, has served as a Henry Clay Scholar on Capitol Hill, and is currently serving as the NKU Inaugural Presidential Fellow. Hannah is a first-generation college student, member of Kappa Delta Sorority, a 2020 Teach for America Corp Member, and supports her personal initiative “Read Ready Kentucky”.
  • Leah Hazelwood, 19, from Lebanon, Ky., is a sophomore at the University of Louisville dual majoring in Political Science and Liberal Studies with concentrations in Race & Gender Studies, Global Public Health, and Economics. She is a McConnell Scholar, a Harvard Kennedy Public Policy Leadership Scholar, the College of Arts and Sciences Vice President, a member of Chi Omega Sorority, and is a “children’s advocate” for the Center for Women and Families.
  • Molly Jett, 21, from Louisville, Ky., is a senior at Bellarmine University double majoring in Communication and Design, Art, and Technology. Before completing her journalism internship abroad in Shanghai, China, she was a public affairs intern for the Kentucky Association of Counties. Molly is also a Bellarmine University Women’s Council Scholar, member of Phi Mu Sorority, former local news intern, and active volunteer at the Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM).
  • Hannah Robb, 20, from Louisville, Ky., is a junior at Bellarmine University studying Business Administration and Marketing. She is a first-generation college student and business woman. She hopes to continue her work with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Toys for Tots organization as a local volunteer coordinator.

Two alternate members of the court have also been selected. Grace Rahman from Lexington, Ky., is a University of Louisville Post-Baccalaureate Student entering med school in the fall, and Abigail Frazier from Whitesburg, Ky., a senior at University of Kentucky. They will become court members if one of the other women are unable to serve.

One of the five women will be selected as Derby Festival Queen at the Fillies Derby Ball in April. All of the women will receive a $2000 scholarship provided by the Fillies Inc. volunteer group and the Kentucky Derby Festival foundation.

There were nearly 100 applicants that applied for the Royal Court program representing many different colleges from around the state of Kentucky and throughout the region.

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