Editor’s note: The author is currently serving in the title of Miss Herriman, and will be competing in the Miss Utah pageant. Both pageants are part of the Miss America organization.
BYU senior Glory Thomas is serving the Provo community with her current title of Miss Provo by implementing kindness and encouraging empathy everywhere she goes.
“Miss Provo is the city’s best volunteer,” Thomas said. From attending ribbon cuttings, meet and greets and productions to planning and organizing service projects, activities and fundraisers — Thomas said she works tirelessly to identify and fill the needs of the city.
All Miss America titleholders are required to have a Social Impact Initiative, formerly known as a platform. According to Thomas, an SII should be about something a person has a real passion for.
Thomas defined an SII as something that “adds value to the city.” With this perspective, she titled her SII, “Be the ONE to make the difference: GLO With Kindness.” She said her SII is dedicated to making a positive and permanent impact on her community through acts of kindness.
In an effort to spread the invitation of kindness across the nation, Thomas founded and owns a nonprofit organization committed to “helping cities, communities and schools start their own kindness initiatives.” The nonprofit is called “GLO with Kindness” and represents Thomas’ personal mission to make the world a kinder place.
When discussing the creation of her nonprofit Thomas commented, “My name Glory, it means ‘a rare spot of light’ which is why I named my nonprofit ‘GLO with Kindness,’ because I believe that when we are kind to each other and we put that empathy into action we light up our communities.”
Thomas said her nonprofit has partnered with Provo Kindness with the goal to create a natural passion for kindness within the Provo youth community through events, presentations and activities.
Thomas said she believes an individual’s SII should be unique to that individual and their passions. This belief of “pure authenticity” is a concept that several titleholders share, she said.
Hailey Johnson doubles as Miss Wellsville and as Thomas’ cousin. Growing up alongside Thomas, Johnson said she has had a front-row seat to her interactions with others — both in a professional setting and in a personal setting.
Johnson said, “With or without the crown, she can be seen serving her community and putting smiles on people’s faces, one act of kindness at a time.”
Johnson commented on the daily impact that Thomas makes on those around her. From big, planned-out acts of service to the small and seemingly insignificant selfless acts, Thomas tries to fill the needs within her community, Johnson said.
“Glory’s most defining quality is her desire to help others,” Johnson continued, “She is always finding ways to help those in need and get others involved in her causes. She is kind to everyone she meets and has a wonderful attitude even when circumstances are not ideal.”
Gabriela Ulloa was crowned as Provo’s 1st Attendant in the Miss Provo competition in 2022, and went on to compete in the Miss Zion competition where she was crowed as Miss Zion. Because of her experience in these two pageants, Ulloa has served with Thomas in several different capacities.
She said, “Glory is hands down one of the most amazing people I’ve met. In my time working with her, she has shown me what true charity is. She loves everyone that she comes in contact with and genuinely wants the best for them.”
Thomas said she chooses to not allow her circumstances to determine her kindness or impact. Her personal mission statement or life motto is to spread kindness and love. “Everyone needs to know that they are loved, seen and needed. Because you matter, and you need to know that,” Thomas said.
Thomas invites all to join her in her focus on being kind. “Remember, when you GLO with kindness, you can ‘Be the One to Make the Difference,’” Thomas said.