GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — "I was actually in housekeeping at a hotel and I didn't really know what I wanted to do," says Uniqua Sparks.

That's when the mother of three heard about the Metallica Scholars program at Grand Rapids Community College.

"At first I'm like, who is Metallica? Who is Metallica?" says Sparks.

Sparks would soon figure out that the legendary metal band had selected GRCC as one of only 10 colleges in the country to receive $100,000 for the Metallica Scholars program which aims at using education to change people's lives.

"I think we have some people that it's really going to affect their life in a positive manner," says GRCC Instructor Nick Pinckney.

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Metallica wanted to fund skilled trades they believe are needed like GRCC's welding program.

"It's a skilled trade that's never really been fulfilled and had saturation to the market. There's always been welding jobs out there," says Pinckney.

Monday night more than a dozen Metallica Scholars celebrated their graduation from GRCC's welding program.  

Students like Uniqua Sparks are now about embark on their career with no student loans all thanks to the titans of metal.

"Thank you so much because I wouldn't have been here and would not have a career and would not be moving on from my family. My children they would not be seeing me in success. I'm in awe right now," says Sparks.

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