Metal band Metallica is donating $1 million to support struggling community college students

James Hetfield of Metallica Getty
  • Heavy metal band Metallica created a foundation called the Metallica Scholars Initiative, which donated $US100,000 to ten community colleges
  • The funds are meant to go towards bolstering job training and trade skills for students
  • The roughly 1,000 students expected to benefit from the program will become the first cohort of “Metallica Scholars”
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Of all the unexpected things the metal band Metallica has done (performing with Lou Reed, spending nearly half a million dollars on a video, going to therapy together), this might be the most shocking: The multi-Grammy winning band have started a non-profit initiative to help struggling community college students.

Dubbed the Metallica Scholars Initiative, the band is providing ten community colleges around the country with $US100,000 to help develop career paths and improve trade skills. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, which partnered with the band, the funds will directly support more than 1,000 students who collectively will become the first cohort of “Metallica Scholars.”

Some of those newfound Metallica Scholars attend North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In an interview with the Idaho Ed News, NIC President Rick MacLennan said the school used some of the funds to “benefit 38 students through tuition assistance as well as transportation and childcare for single parents.”

In addition to these benefits, the schools can use the funds to purchase safety gear, buy books and other learning material and award scholarships.“The goal of our Metallica Scholars Initiative is to improve career opportunities for community college students in the trades,” said Edward Frank of the AACC. “Equally, we hope to raise the awareness of the tremendous importance, value and impact of the education provided by our nation’s community college system.”

In a statement on the foundation’s website, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said, “all of us in the band feel fortunate that music has provided us the opportunity to be successful doing something we are passionate about. We want to share our success with others so that they can find a job where they can do the same.”