As the COVID-19 pandemic started to have an economic impact on the region, Alvin Community College Welding student Gladys Fierro was afraid she might not be able to pay for her last semester to finish her certification.
She took out her phone during class to check the time and noticed that she had an e-mail which stated she was receiving financial support for her final semester from the Metallica All Within My Hands grant program.
“I got so emotional during class that I couldn’t believe it,” Fierro said. “Receiving this grant has meant a lot to me.”
Fierro was one of 22 students to receive support for their education through the Metallica All Within My Hands Foundation program. The college received a $100,000 grant from the program, which was created in 2017 to support the communities that have supported the band. The Foundation also assists community colleges through its “Metallica Scholars” program with 15 schools across the country participating.
ACC was initially going to use the funds for the Truck Driving program but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic students in other Continuing Education Workforce Development programs were made eligible. Support also went to students in Welding, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Process Technology.
“The scholarships provided individuals who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to obtain high-demand occupational training and or instruction,” said Sarah Currie, ACC director of Business, Technical & Community Programs. “I am confident that ACC's Metallica Scholars will go on to do great things in their chosen occupations and lives.”
“On behalf of ACC, I want to extend my gratitude to the All Within My Hounds Foundation, The Band Metallica, and The American Association of Community Colleges for selecting us as a recipient of the Metallica Scholar's Initiative Grant.”
Truck Driving student Brent Edmiston lost his position as a field engineer in oilfield when his company went bankrupt due to the COVID pandemic.
“It wiped out my entire industry for immediate job opportunities,” Edmiston said. “I found myself having to find a way to start all over in life at 54 years of age. It frightened me and I didn't know where to turn.”
Edmiston decided to pursue a career in Truck Driving and sought assistance through the All Within My Hands Foundation. He was awarded a grant and he recently completed the Truck Driving program.
“I now have the opportunity to seek work in a new industry and still use my knowledge and skills from the oilfield,” he said. “This has given me a new lease on life and I am forever grateful. The Metallica Scholar's Initiative grant has made it possible for me to get back into the workforce and start my life over.”
For Fierro, the grant has provided her with a peace of mind that she will soon be able to pursue her career.
“I couldn’t be happier and more motivated to finish my education,” she said.
For more information about the All Within My Hands Foundation, visit www.allwithinmyhands.org.
For more information about Continuing Education Workforce Development programs at ACC, visit www.alvincollege.edu/CEWD.