GRCC Veterans Day commemoration looks at helping those who served move forward

Grand Rapids Community College’s Veterans Center saluted students, employees and community members who served in the Armed Forces during the annual Veterans Day commemoration, featuring remarks from veteran and entrepreneur Michael Hyacinthe.

Hyacinthe, a Navy veteran, was recognized as one of Inc Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs in 2010. He founded Has Heart, a project aimed at connecting with wounded veterans and helping them experience restoration through art.

The Grand Rapids Business Journal named Hyacinthe a Top 40 Under Forty Entrepreneur in 2020 because of his work with wounded veterans and his children’s media and Wimage, a tech company he founded.  This work led to the creation of an iPhone app and the start of the popular children’s show called “Wimee’s Words” on PBS.

He earned a Top Veteran Owned Business award by Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce in 2021.

Hyacinthe described the challenges of leaving the military and finding out what would be next for him. He attended a community college in his home in Bronx, N.Y. His education helped him find a pathway forward.

 “Like many veterans, reintegrating back into society can be a very, very difficult process,” he said. “I found myself homeless for quite some time, trying to figure out where do I fit in and how do I fit in?”

“We as a society and a nation must recognize that an entire nation needs to come together to give back and support and acknowledge those who served. Our veterans decided to serve, and when they come back home, we need to figure out a way to serve them.”

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