News Releases

June 04, 2024

Hip hop legend Maestro Fresh Wes creates bursary for Black trades students at NBCC

Maestro Fresh Wes
(Photo credit: Steve Smith/ VisionFire Photographer)

Hip-hop artist, actor, and writer Wes Williams (a.k.a. Maestro Fresh Wes) has created a new bursary dedicated to supporting NBCC’s Black students in achieving their dreams.

The Maestro Fresh Wes Scholarship is valued at $1,500. 

Williams, who calls Saint John home, established the award to create a positive change in the lives of Black trades students. The award eases financial pressures so they can thrive in their studies and launch their career with the skills they need to succeed. 

Mary Butler, President and CEO of NBCC, said the scholarship aligns with the College’s values, including embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“This unique scholarship is a meaningful way to support underrepresented communities,” said Butler. “Donors like Wes are helping to break barriers to post-secondary education so that everyone has the opportunity to develop the skills to reach their full potential. We’re so grateful for Wes’s passion for community, and for his support of our students.” 

Known as the “Godfather of Canadian hip-hop,” Williams recently became the first rap artist to ever have a song inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. His legendary single “Let Your Backbone Slide” was the first rap recording to reach Gold and Platinum Status. As an actor, Williams has appeared in several film and television projects and is also the author of the 2010 motivational book, Stick To Your Vision.

“Over the last four decades, I’ve been proud to build up the Black community in Canadian music,” said Williams. “Now, I want to help make a difference in the lives of young Black builders and tradespeople. Living in Saint John for the past four years has been amazing and giving back is paramount. I hope this scholarship will have a positive impact for generations to come.” 

Applications for the inaugural Maestro Fresh Wes Scholarship are now open. People interested in helping the fund grow to support more students can donate (select bursaries, scholarships and student critical aid and comment that you wish to support the Maestro Fresh Wes Scholarship.)


NBCC: As one of New Brunswick’s largest postsecondary education institutions, NBCC drives social and economic wellbeing across the province. NBCC welcomes 12,000 learners each year through quality-assured, relevant training opportunities. Find out more at: .

Media Contact:
Charray Owen, Lead, Strategic Communications
Tel: (506) 440-9105