Metallica Scholars Initiative


CGCC Metallica Scholars Stories: October 2021

Samantha Sparks, Advanced Manufacturing & Fabrication

Traditionally, welding hasn’t been a career chosen by women. Recently, though, more women are choosing the trades. Samantha Sparks was originally planning on pursuing a nursing degree, but after 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, she didn’t want to take on the challenges associated with healthcare. There will always be a need for welders, she thought, and the opportunities are endless! Samantha’s goal is to finish the Advanced Manufacturing & Fabrication program, and work in a fabrication shop, or for a small local welding shop. She sees herself eventually starting her own business building truck campers--something she and her husband have often talked about doing. Attending Columbia Gorge Community College since 2019, Samantha finished her Associate’s degree in general education and is now working on her Advanced Manufacturing certificate. Her favorite teacher, CGCC math instructor, Pam Morse, told her about the CGCC Metallica Scholars Initiative and encouraged her to apply.


Amber & Carl Tyler, Construction Technology

Carl and Amber Tyler have been married for 25 years. With a small repair business that they wanted to expand to do more things, they both enrolled in CGCC’s Construction Technology program. Amber believes you’re never too old to learn and one should always chase their dreams. She hopes to use her construction skills to help others while Carl plans to obtain his Contractor’s license. Despite the tragic loss of their oldest son on Mother’s Day last year, Carl and Amber are trying to find the silver linings in life, even when life can be so unkind. If they could thank Metallica, Carl would say “I have never been lucky at anything and the financial costs that come with a passing are huge. Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to attend. I’m very thankful that I was given the chance to gain knowledge and grow. Thank you, Metallica, for sponsoring me.” Amber would say “I appreciate the opportunity and will use my education gifted to me to bless others.”


Gabe Eldredge, Electro-Mechanical Technology

For Gabe Eldredge, renewable energy is a family business. “My grandfather is in the renewable energy field”, Gabe explains.  “He is installing hydro-wheels along with solar panels in undeveloped areas.” Gabe, too, hopes to work in the renewable energy field someday soon. He sees it as a growing profession that can help people worldwide. Gabe learned of CGCC because his grandmother was listening to NPR. He drove up from Utah to check the school out and is now enrolled to start in the Electro-Mechanical Technology program this fall- a program that has strong ties to renewable energy companies across the country. When he found out about the Metallica Scholars Initiative from an email sent out to current CGCC students, he applied right away. The oldest of three boys, raised by a single mother, Gabe is inspired to do what he can to serve as an example for his younger siblings. “I hope that I can show them there’s many options in life if they set their mind to it.” Asked if he could thank the band, Metallica, what he would say, Gabe replied, “I would tell them thank you for the opportunity for this scholarship they have presented for students in the renewable energy field.”     




CGCC Metallica Scholar Recognition & Welcome Celebration!

(OCT. 14, 2021) Faculty and students in our Advanced Manufacturing & Fabrication, Construction Technology, and Electro-Mechancial Technology programs gathered at our brand new Regional Skills Center to celebrate the new school year, and to recognize our CGCC Metallica Scholars! Our scholars shared pizza, celebrated the Metallica Scholars Initiative, received their CGCC Metallica Scholars t-shirts and totes, and learned about the further scholarship opportunities from our Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. Congratulations again to our 2021-22 CGCC Metallica Scholars!



CGCC Metallica Scholar Tees & Totes!

(OCT. 4, 2021) To acknowledge and celebrate our CGCC Metallica Scholars, each will receive a T-shirt and tote bag with the following design. We look forward to seeing these on campus and in our communities!




(SEPT. 22, 2021) On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, Columbia Gorge Community College celebrated the Metallica Scholars Initiative at Sunshine Mill Winery in The Dalles. Metallica's film Metallica and San Francisco Symphony - S&M2 was screened, and there was a free raffle drawing for prizes. Thanks to all who were able to join to celebrate the leadership and support of AWMH and AACC -- and our CGCC Metallica Scholars!





Are you ready to ROCK & ROLL your way to new skills or a new career?

(AUG. 3, 2021) This Fall, 45 students will be selected to receive a $1,700 Tuition Scholarship + 80% Tool & Equipment Costs!!

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to become a Metallica Scholar, a student must enroll in one of the following programs in fall 2021:


What do CGCC Metallica Scholars receive?

  • $1700 scholarship is applied directly to your tuition

  • CGCC covers 80% of your tool and equipment costs for your program
  • Recognition on CGCC's website, marketing, and social media as a Metallica Scholar 

When is the deadline?

The application deadline has been EXTENDED! It is now 5 pm on October 6th.



What is the Metallica Scholars Initiative? 

(JULY 20, 2021) The Metallica Scholars Initiative was created by members of the band Metallica in support of relevant job skill training for community college students.

Metallica members

Members of Metallica, L-R Robert Trujillo, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett

Since 2019, educational institutions around the nation have been selected annually for the Metallica Scholars Initiative. Ten colleges were selected in the first year, and five more in year two. CGCC was one of nine new colleges selected as part of the 2021 cohort to receive a $100,000 grant that will support our students and programs. The Metallica Scholars Initiative is funded by All Within My Hands and led by the American Association of Community Colleges.


***If you have any questions about the Metallica Scholars Initiative at CGCC, please contact Mary Kramer, Dean of CTE, Pre-College, and ESOL: