Heavy Metal Band Helps NOVA Student Kick-Start His IT Career

August 2, 2023

David Proakis is grateful for the band Metallica! It's not that he knows any of the band members, but it was through the band's foundation, All Within My Hands, that he got the financial support he needed to pursue an Information Technology class at NOVA. Through this, he earned his first IT certification, and he is now pursuing a career in a growing and in-demand field.


David does love to brag a bit, telling people that Metallica helped start his IT career. He then proudly tells them he is a Metallica Scholar. "I think it's incredible that they are paying it forward by providing assistance for people to kickstart their careers. Thank you so much for this opportunity! I wouldn't have been able to do this without you," David said. The Metallica Scholars program aims to provide resources to students who want to learn skills needed in today's workforce.  

The All Within My Hands Foundation has awarded scholarships to community colleges nationwide for five years, and NOVA students have benefited from the program for three of those. This year's $25,000 scholarship will support NOVA students interested in pursuing high-demand IT and healthcare careers.

CompTIA® IT Fundamentals (ITF+) is the only pre-career certification that helps students or career changers determine if they have competency for IT and if it's the right career path for them. ITF+ covers all areas of IT foundations, creating a broader understanding of IT. It's ideal for non-technical professionals. 

For a limited time, NOVA Workforce's CompTIA® IT Fundamentals course is funded by grants and scholarships. This course is offered at no cost for qualified students based on financial need. The household adjusted gross income must be less than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 

Individuals must self-certify their eligibility by accurately completing and submitting this form. Additional income verification may be required before registering.

You will be contacted with more information on how to register for this program. Note: This form is NOT a registration form, nor does it reserve a seat in any class. Funding and admission for this course will be on a first-come first-served basis.

For more information on this course, visit:  https://novaworkforce.me/IT-Fundamentals. Hear more about David's journey below on how such an opportunity allowed him to advance his career. 

How did you hear about the Metallica Scholarship?
I was searching for CompTIA courses to start my IT career. Then I noticed NOVA had a couple of prep courses and happened upon the Metallica page for IT Fundamentals. I was amazed!

The Metallica Scholars program allowed me to take the IT Fundamentals course and earn the CompTIA ITF+ certification. I plan on completing the CompTIA A+ certification soon as well. This will allow me to pursue an IT career, opening the door to an enriching career path!

I also want to reiterate how big of a fan I am of Metallica! I remember listening to heavy metal as a kid with my dad and exploring their music that has  helped me (and I know many others) through difficult times.

I wish to thank each band member for this opportunity and their kindness; and I want them to know how appreciative I am. It's crazy to think that they continue to help me in more ways than just through their music.

What brought you  to NOVA?
I was looking for a change in my career. I went to college right out of high school, but it didn't work out. After developing my skills and having more motivation in my life to do better, I felt it was the right time to pursue a career.

What are you studying at NOVA?
I am studying information technology and currently pursuing my associates.

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?
Don't be afraid to ask for help. The professors are very understanding and accommodating. Be sure to connect with other students in your class, as they might have created discussion groups related to the course material on platforms like Facebook or Discord, which can provide an additional source of support.

Tell us about your experience at NOVA (i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met)
I really enjoy the online experience. I was worried I would be at a disadvantage by having to schedule classes around my work life and wondered if that would be possible. I don't think I could pursue this career path if it weren't for the online opportunity. Nearly all of my teachers have been MORE than understanding of my situation, and working with my classmates is more comfortable online. I do miss the in-person interaction with other students, however. Again, school would not be possible for me if it weren't online.

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring?
Honestly, I can see myself doing anything. My desire to provide for my family is my motivation to complete school. I don't want to work day-to-day wondering if we can make the next bill. I want to be able to take my family on trips and explore the world.

Working from home would open many doors to this as there are careers that would allow us to be comfortable monetarily and give me the time and flexibility to take these trips without worrying about how they will impede my work life.

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