top of page
  • Day One Society

Out of the Ashes Bursary Seeks Support to Sustain Educational Opportunities for Individuals in Recovery

Kamloops, B.C.: Day One Society’s (D1S) Out of the Ashes (OOTA) Bursary has awarded over $100,000 in bursaries, providing educational support to people in Kamloops with a minimum of one year of recovery. As the program continues to expand its reach, donations are urgently needed to sustain its impactful work and ensure that more individuals in recovery can achieve their educational aspirations.

“Thanks to the donations from Kamloops’ citizens and businesses, we have been able to help recipients toward achieving their dreams,” said Leann Kopytko, Program Supervisor at D1S, who introduced the bursary as a prevention initiative with her late husband Ron in 2007. “We are so proud to have awarded 47 bursaries so far and are looking for donations to continue giving back to this wonderful community.”

Since its beginnings, the OOTA Bursary has made a profound difference in the lives of numerous recipients, who have utilized the award to further their education, pursue careers, and give back to the community.

“One of the most important aspects of choosing our recipients is their desire to pay it forward in this community,” added Sian Lewis, executive director of D1S. “We recognize that the money is generated in this city, and we want to support people from here, which is why these awards are only given to those with a Kamloops address or those who have proof of enrolment in a Kamloops program.”

Out of the Ashes Bursary 2022 Recipients Haley Baker (Left) and Michelle Raglin (Right) with Day One Society Executive Director, Sian Lewis (Middle).

Past winners include individuals like Katherine McParkland, who founded and managed A Way Home Kamloops, a non-profit organization that works to end youth homelessness; Andrea Hurst, a recipient of the bursary from 2011 to 2015 who now works as a registered nurse within correctional health services; and Jamie Lynn Burt, who is currently completing her degree to become a social worker.

“Winning the Out of the Ashes Bursary was a huge milestone in my journey. It assisted me in laying the very foundation upon which my life has been built today. If I can do this, so can you!” said Burt, reflecting on the award received seven years ago. “This bursary is more than money; it reduces stigma and gives people in recovery hope and confidence in their dreams.”

The impact of the bursary extends beyond the individual recipients to their families, with many sharing stories of reconnecting with loved ones and rebuilding relationships previously strained by addiction.

“Most of the past bursary recipients still connect with the Society, letting us know of their incredible success and extending their heartfelt gratitude to all those who have donated to this worthy cause,” mentioned Lewis. “There are so many success stories to share, and they all have one underlying theme – the bursary has helped each person to successfully maintain their recovery, complete their educational goals and give back to the community.”

(Left) Sian Lewis, Executive Director, Day One Society, and (Right) Leann Kopytko, co-Founder Out of the Ashes Bursary and Program Supervisor, Raven and Adolescent Outreach for Day One Society, acknowledging the 2023 International Communitas Award awarded in February 2024.Photo credit: Tiffany Christianson Photography

Given the growing success of the OOTA Bursary, the need for donations has become ever more pressing. With as many as seven applicants in a single year and a growing number of applications since expanding the age criteria to ages 17–29 and 30 years and older, there is a constant demand for funding to support deserving individuals on their journey to recovery.

“We have seen the impact these bursaries have had on people recovering from addiction, but there is still much more work to be done,” added Lewis. “This bursary is a reminder that anything is possible, and we believe in the potential inherent in each person to choose a new direction and realize their goals. Every person who applies is considered, and if they meet all the bursary requirements, we want to support them.”

Individuals interested in contributing to the OOTA Bursary are encouraged to visit the Day One Society website at Donations can be made online or in person at the centre located at 922 3rd Avenue in Kamloops. Presentations about the bursary and services offered by D1S can also be made upon request.

To arrange an interview, contact:

Aleece Laird, Communications Liaison || 250.574.0221

About Day One Society

Day One Society provides services and programs to bring hope, help, and healing to youth and adults experiencing issues or challenges with substance use. They respect the integrity of each human being and believe that each person can change, and with support, accept personal responsibility for their own physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health. The society’s mandate is to:

• Provide medically supported withdrawal management treatment to adults and youth struggling with substance use issues.

• Provide education, counselling, outreach, and support to youth and families impacted by substance use.

• Provide education to the larger community, raising awareness about the issue of substance use.

• To provide supportive recovery services to adults.


bottom of page