Dec. 19, 2023 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Tyler Muniz now lives in Kansas, where he’s a firefighter and EMT, but he’s made a lot of stops along the way. He’s worked in youth development for the YMCA, parent aid for the state of Arizona, and corrections in Missouri.
The starting point for Muniz’s wide-ranging career? GRCC, which he calls “the home to new opportunities.”
He credits the college with getting him “back on track”: “I chose high school to be athletics and social hour and didn’t take my classes seriously. GRCC allowed me to be on my own and get my life straightened out for success.”
Muniz, a member of the 2009 National Championship football team, graduated with his associate degree in business in 2010. He completed a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and corrections at Culver-Stockton College in Missouri, joining four other GRCC football team members in playing for the Wildcats. He eventually earned a master’s in nonprofit, public and organizational management from Louisiana State University-Shreveport.
He decided to go in a new direction in 2017.
“After 10 years of working with children and families of all backgrounds, I found that sitting at a desk wasn’t an environment I thrived in,” he said. “I made the career change to firefighter around five years ago and haven’t looked back since."
Muniz, who’s married with two children, keeps in touch with friends from his time at GRCC.
“Being able to move into the big city, coming from a small town outside of Kalamazoo was such an amazing experience!” he said. “I lived off Lyon and Lafayette and was able to walk to class and practice within minutes. I had professors who took the time to help me when needed. I felt like I could ask questions, and, no matter what, someone was going to help.
“There were resources anywhere you looked, you just needed to utilize them.”