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David Kelly Memorial 

We once heard someone say, “watching someone suffering from active addiction was like watching someone drown in one foot of water, because you cannot convince them that all they need to do to save themselves is to stand up.” During active addiction, most people can relate to that statement on some level. Daya Mental Health and Wellness was built by individuals in recovery for substance use and has always strived to promote the advancement of people in recovery, not only from a mental health and wellness standpoint, but also in a way that allows people to gain employment, return to school, repair relationships and build the life that they have missed out on for so long. Years ago my husband and I returned to school for our graduate degrees and realized how difficult that could actually be, both financially and mentally. We hope this scholarship helps ease the financial burden that might prevent someone from returning to school and allow them to work on their education and remaining clean. Our hope is that the recipient will obtain their degree and give back to the very community that helped show them how to to stand up in that one foot of water.

Often times recovery introduces you to people that become more than copilots on this journey. David was a very dear friend of ours that passed away a few years ago. He spent many years of his life walking through this recovery journey beside my husband. In reality, he was family. While I know he is somewhere saying “y’all didn’t need to do all this,” I also believe he would be excited to see what the world would get from that person that was given one more chance to do things different.


~Tabatha and Jason Jones, Owners of Daya Mental Health and Wellness

Daya Mental Health and Wellness is excited to be partnering with Operation Gateway to offer a yearly $3000 college scholarship to someone in recovery for substance or alcohol use disorder

David Kelly Memorial Scholarship Requirements


  • Award will be $3000 for one recipient per year. $1500 for fall semester and $1500 for Spring semester

  • Scholarship will be paid directly to the school of choice and may only be used for tuition, fees and books

  • Recipient must be in recovery for substance and/or alcohol use

  • Must be admitted to a degree program (associates, bachelors, masters) - must submit a copy of acceptance letter or proof of current enrollment with application

  • Enrollment status may either be full time or part time

  • Must be enrolled in a human services degree program. Priority will be given to students accepted into a nursing or social work/ counseling degree program.

  • Daya Mental Health and Wellness’s employees and their families are not eligible

  • Operation Gateway’s board members and their families are not eligible

  • Must complete essay on provided prompt

David Kelly Memorial Scholarship Application Procedure



Submit an essay (your story) of approximately 500 words that tells us:

  • What did your life look like in active addiction?

  • What brought you to recovery?

  • How do you plan to use your degree to not only improve your life, but the lives of people in your chosen field?

  • Please be open and honest. We have spent enough time in recovery to know that sometimes these stories are messy and sometimes even unpleasant. We expect that. What we don’t want is 50 of the same cookie cutter responses, that I’m sure an English teacher somewhere in your life has taught you how to write. We want life experience and how the reward would effect you personally.

  • Please include your name, phone number, email and address on the application essay and send to:     Attn: Scholarship


Please submit essay by July 1.

Daya will evaluate essays anonymously and chose their top 3 choices.

We will send those 3 choices to Operation Gateway where their board will chose the final winner.

Notification will happen mid July

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