Gazebo Gazette

Thirty Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College students in career and technical education programs have been named Metallica Scholars, receiving scholarships to continue their education.

In July, the college announced the receipt of $100,000 from the Metallica Scholarship Initiative to use toward student scholarships.  The college was chosen from a competitive field of community colleges across the country for the award.

Dr. Jordan Sanderson, associate vice president of Teaching and Learning at MGCCC, said the scholarships are only one part of the funding for career and technical education.  “Not only will these funds expand opportunities for our students, but our participation in the initiative will allow us to grow our knowledge base and provide tools to make our programs more successful and beneficial to our students.”

Students receiving the scholarships were excited about the opportunities provided to them.  Uniqua Allen of Gulfport said she has been working in the casino industry for five years and decided to major in Hospitality and Resort Management Technology to expand her career options.

“I have been able to apply what I have learned from my hospitality supervision course, computer applications course, and casino customer service course to my job,” she said. “I was able to broaden the training program in my department by creating a PowerPoint to help train the new hires. The hard work did not go unnoticed at my job, as I was selected as Employee of the Month in March.”

Allen said the Metallica Scholarship has made a huge impact.

“The Metallica Scholarship has helped relieve one of the biggest stresses I have had while being in college,” she said. “Not having to worry about how I am going to pay for my classes has allowed me to focus on school more. I am so grateful and thankful for this scholarship! I started going to college right out of high school back in 2012. Because of financial reasons, I had to stop and start again and again, but never wanting to give up on finishing. Now, I will be able to finish my degree this year. What a blessing. I appreciate the Metallica Scholarship. It literally changed my life!”

Since establishing the initiative in 2019, All Within My Hands (AWMH) has been working with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to provide direct support for career and technical education programs across the U.S.

“Our goal for the Metallica Scholars Initiative is to shine a light on workforce education and support the next generation of tradespeople. With the addition of the 2022-2023 Metallica Scholars program, our grants will reach over 2,000 men and women in 32 community colleges across 27 states,” said Pete Delgrosso, executive director of AWMH. “We are honored to support these students of all ages and backgrounds and look forward to growing the program even farther in the future.”

To learn more about the Metallica Scholars Initiative, please visit AllWithinMyHands.org/Metallica-Scholars.