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Maestro Fresh Wes Scholarship supporting Black youth in trades: Meet Maxwell

Photo of Maestro Fresh Wes Scholarship's first recipient, Maxwell.
Maxwell Sparks, 2023 Maestro Fresh Wes Scholarship Recipient, Welding, Akerley Campus.

Inspiring Black builders of Canada

Maestro Fresh Wes, a trailblazing figure in Canadian hip-hop, was officially inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the JUNO Awards in March 2024. He celebrated this achievement by creating the Maestro Fresh Wes Scholarship at NSCC to support African Nova Scotian and Black students enrolled in Trades and Transportation programs at NSCC's Akerley Campus. The Scholarship opened for applications earlier in the fall as part of the announcement of his upcoming Hall of Fame induction.

While Wes was in Halifax for the awards, he had the opportunity to speak with Maxwell Sparks, the first recipient of the Scholarship. Maxwell is a first-year Welding student at Akerley Campus who started his post-secondary education in 2022 by attending university. After realizing it wasn’t the right fit for him, he entered NSCC’s Welding Program in 2023 where the experiential learning of the program validated his decision to make the switch to skilled trades.

A helping hand for the next generation

“I would like to thank Maestro Fresh Wes for his generous support of my trades education and for giving back to our community,” said Maxwell, with gratitude for receiving the scholarship. “It is quite a legacy that gives the next generation a helping hand, and it is the Canadian thing to do.”

Thanks to Wes’ support, the scholarship will help Maxwell pay for his program without increasing his student debt as he works towards his goals. His goals for the future are to finish his Diploma and then work towards obtaining his Welding Red Seal through a Welding Apprenticeship.

Connected through music

While looking to support Black youth pursuing skilled trades at NSCC, Wes and Maxwell also share a connection to music and the arts. “Even though I am training to be a welder, my entire family, including myself, is heavily into music. Some of my uncles and aunts have made their careers in music and the arts,” said Maxwell, noting his new connection to Wes through a shared passion for music.

Be a part of Wes’ vision

Wes’ vision for the Maestro Fresh Wes Scholarship is to provide hope and access to youth and individuals looking to pursue skilled trades as an in-demand career in Nova Scotia.

Join Wes and support his vision by donating to the Maestro Fresh Wes Scholarship today through

Return to Spring 2024 Update