The Metallica Scholars Initiative began in 2019 as a partnership between the band’s All Within My Hands Foundation (AWMH) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Participating schools were chosen through a rigorous application process, and each received $100,000 to fund “programs designed to support students training to enter the American workforce.”
Metallica singer-guitarist James Hetfield offered a statement in a press release regarding the new announcement:
“It has been amazing to see this program continue to grow and thrive. I get so grateful hearing from those who benefit from our grant. Hearing their story of doubt to direction. From those who are able to pursue additional education leading directly to meaningful employment. It gave us confidence that we are doing the right thing and inspired us to do even more. We are very proud and excited to work with additional schools encouraging even more Metallica Scholars to pursue a profession in the skilled trades.”
Helping to supplement the AWMH Foundations’s cumulative $1.6 million contribution will be notable partners such as Wolverine Boots, which previously offered Metallica footwear supporting the fund.
Despite the rigors of the pandemic — widely felt on college campuses — the AWMH Foundation reported positive growth in 2020. Funding served over 1,000 different students across the country in career and technical training programs.
“The whole reason I’m doing this is because I wanna be the first in my family to break the cycle of poverty,” said Valencia College welding scholar Emma-Lynn Ponds, a beneficiary of the program, via the press release.
Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina, reported 97.6% of the Metallica Scholars scheduled to graduate in the spring or summer 2020 semesters were successful in completing their programs. In addition, students across 10 different academic health programs were supported by the funds. Certification exam pass rates and employment rates of those who were eligible topped 90%, according to the press release.
“AACC is honored to manage the All Within My Hands’ Metallica Scholars Initiative,” said Jennifer Worth, Senior Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development at the AACC. “As we engage more communities, we have the opportunity to connect with more industry partners, each of which affirms that high-quality, skilled trade jobs are available, and community colleges are the premier places to train and amass talent. We will not stop doing this work until that recognition is as awesomely global as the band’s trust in us, our colleges, and the students with whom we work.”
The AWMH Foundation has been celebrating its second “Month of Giving” in May. To honor the month, the band brought back its #MetallicaMondays streaming series for one night on May 24th.
For more information on the Metallica Scholars Initiative, visit the All Within My Hands Foundation website. Watch the latest #MetallicaMondays concert stream below.