STRIVE News & Updates
April 1st, 2021

PSL Services/STRIVE Virtual Career Fair

Thursday, April 15th
12-2pm and 4-6pm
Are you looking for a FUN job that allows you to make a difference in people's lives? Looking for a job that offers great benefits while working with a terrific team? Then PSL/STRIVE is looking for you!
We currently have several positions available with flexible hours, ranging from part-time to full time. Plus, for the month of April we will be offering a $500 sign-on bonus!

On April 15th during our virtual fair, we will have staff available to answer questions and interview anyone interested in applying. Visit Current Openings | PSL Services/STRIVE ( for a current list of positions.

Contact Betsy Morrison with any questions and to register for the fair and receive the connection information.
Here's what's happening in our programs!
STRIVE U is entering a very exciting time of year! The third year students are preparing to tour apartments and figure out where their next home will be! Carley has been working diligently with the students to learn where they would like to live and what is available to them and talk through the process of obtaining an apartment in the Portland area.
The second year students are preparing to enter their final year in the program – we are all grateful to be able to start to return to more of the campus life we are accustomed to – slow but steady and with safety first!
In Learning Group the 3rd years are learning about Apartment Safety which includes the importance of locking doors, being cautious around a stove top, fire safety, and emergency/non-emergency contacts. The 2nd years are discussing nutrition and are learning how to plan a well-balanced meal. They are examining their own menu plans and discovering which of the food groups are most present in their diets, and which ones should be included more.
We are also preparing to accept our next class this month as well – we look forward to welcoming them.
STRIVE U is a comprehensive two-year residential, post-secondary educational opportunity for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To learn more about the program, schedule a tour or get an application, please contact Olivia Fraioli, STRIVE U Admissions Coordinator at or call (207) 774-6278
STRIVE WorldWIDE’s Student Social Kick Off Is a Success & New DayTime Schedule Released
On Tuesday, March 23, we kicked off our Student Social series, where past, present, and (hopefully) future students join us from across the United States. This is a new series that will be offered every 6 weeks (during the week off in-between classes). Anyone who has been a part of or is thinking about becoming a part of STRIVE WorldWIDE can gather to catch up with or meet classmates, play games, and ask questions about the program. Our next student social will be May 4, 2021. If there are any Star Wars fans among you, May the Fourth Be With You.
We have also added a full daytime schedule for the remainder of the year due to demand. Check out our updated schedule.

STRIVE WorldWIDE is STRIVE's online program that teaching independent living skills. For more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE, contact Dr. Anne Ryan at or at
Health, wellness, and exercise are ongoing themes in TOPS throughout the year. There are a variety of ways that we promote exercise regardless of the weather. We talk about the importance of exercise for our overall health, low cost/no cost ways to exercise, we practice Zumba and we do circuit workouts in both our in-person and virtual TOPS. The students learn how to prepare for exercise and the proper ways to exercise in order to not hurt ourselves. We talk about how to carryover what we are learning and experiencing in TOPS to our lives outside of TOPS. As the weather gets better, we look forward to getting more exercise and enjoying different ways to get exercise outdoors!
Interested in TOPS? TOPS (Transition Outcomes Program for Students) provides transition programming for high school students from area school districts who are typically in their 13th & 14th school year. For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison, or by phone at 207-879-0847.
STRIVE Bayside
The months are going so fast, March is already at an end and we have stayed very busy. Each day our groups, both on Zoom and on site, have enjoyed working out with Curtis Adams on video. He provides us with nice low impact exercises that they can do either sitting in a chair or standing next to it.

Both groups have finished up learning about our environment and how as adults we are responsible for taking care of our natural resources. We learned what things to recycle, reuse or just throw away. We did a virtual tour of ECO Maine. We saw how they separate all of the trash and what they do with it. We saw what we can do in our own homes to be a part of keeping our earth Green.

We are learning how to create a menu and budget for shopping by utilizing store flyers. Bayside participants are comparing prices on healthy foods vs junk food. This has given them an opportunity to use their math skills and how to menu plan for their budget.

We also finished a great book, “Holes”, by Louis Sachar then watched the movie so they could compare the two. Participants did a great job in remembering the different details. This was a long book, so they had a lot to remember!

Looking forward to SPRING!
STRIVE Bayside is a unique community supports program that is dedicated to exploring and increasing independence. Some of the goals we work on are grocery shopping, budgeting, cleaning, navigating the community, cooking and social skills. We run five days a week, Monday through Friday and have two daily sessions, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm. We operate out of an apartment in down town Portland to simulate actual apartment living. If you would like more information about our program, or to schedule a tour please contact Kim O'Connor at
Although Next STEP is currently on a hiatus due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact Betsy Morrison with questions or for more information about the program. Betsy can be reached at or 207-879-0847. 

Spring arrived just in time for our reopening last month! So far, the participants who have started to trickle back in for in-person programming have been loving it! We’ve been working on lots of chair yoga and lots of art projects. In fact, through newly formed partnership with the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, participants have been creating postcards as a part of an art exchange program! Through the program, schools and organizations (including ours!) that chose to participate in the program will receive postcards from each other. CMCA will continue to partner with us through STRIVE Studios. Just another wonderful way we have been able to stay connected with the community during these trying times!

Likewise, our virtual programming via Zoom has been serving us well for folks and staff who are still at home. Participants have the choice to call into a variety of virtual groups, including volunteering with organizations we used to volunteer for! This month alone, we had Michelle Small from the Dempsey Center and Will Groves from the Ronald McDonald House. We were even given a few volunteer projects to work on from home or on-site programming, like decorating fabric hearts that will be turned into pillows for cancer patients at the Dempsey Center. These are a just a few of the wonderful events going on in our ACTIVE sphere. Happy Spring!

With the weather warming up, participants have been able to enjoy plenty of walks around the community, take adventures with Rachael to experience the local bird environment and the diverse variety of rocks that make up our group and landscape, as well as pulling out the basketballs to shoot some hoops! We are taking each day one step at a time these days, but with the temperatures heating back up, we sure are looking forward to the summer time.
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, Active & Waves, please contact Emily at
Wednesday Night Educational Series
We just wrapped up a two month long series about food safety and nutrition. We learned so much, especially about the major food groups. A few highlights from the series was the kitchen safety demo done by Chef Brad and cooking tacos together (virtually!) during the last class.

We will spend the month of April learning about Independent Living. We will touch on some different topics that we haven't spent a lot of focus on in the past like how to be safe in our homes and apartments and internet safety. It's also a great time of year to do some Spring cleaning, so we will spend one week discussing all that goes into making sure our living spaces are clean.
The Wednesday Night Educational Series is held every Wednesday at STRIVE (but are currently virtual) for participants 15-24 years old. Series are between 4 and 8 weeks and topics vary from month to month! The price per series is $20-$30, depending on the series' length. Contact Olivia at for your link to join class.
We are so excited to be offering Camp STRIVE in-person for Summer 2021! Due to the ongoing pandemic, though, Camp will look fairly different this year. Since we have several other PSL Services/STRIVE programs that share our space, and due to the CDC limits on how many people can be in our building, Camp will be held outside under a large tent this summer. We will be center-based for both the morning and afternoon sessions, so we will not be taking trips into the community as we normally would. The tent has removable walls - so we can zip them on during inclement weather, and take them off on hotter and sunnier days. We will have outdoor restrooms (including an accessible option) provided for our campers and staff. Both campers and staff will need to be wearing masks for the full day, other than when eating lunch, and during designated "mask breaks" which we will implement throughout the day. 
We will be following all CDC and DHHS guidelines to ensure the safest experience possible, and will certainly adapt Camp's structure and programming as the summer progresses as those guidelines change throughout the summer.

We're asking that all campers register and make their deposit by Friday, May 14th.

We are also going to be offering another week of Virtual Camp during April Vacation, April 19th-23rd! Check out our schedule below! To register, email Olivia at!
Camp STRIVE runs during all school vacations as well as for the full summer. Camp STRIVE offers half and full day offerings and is for campers between the ages of 11-24. For more information about Camp STRIVE contact Olivia at
After School
Although STRIVE's After School program is currently on a hiatus due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact Betsy Morrison with questions or for more information about the program. Betsy can be reached at or 207-879-0847. 
We've had a fun month of March during Tweens- and are looking for more Tweens to join our virtual fun! We're running our virtual social every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm on Zoom for 11-14 year olds. To get the link to join, contact Olivia at!
Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new friendships and learn new skills for folks 11-14 years old. Structured in our Teen Center, we run every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm. We have a scheduled activity each week, with free time built in to maximize socialization. For more information about STRIVE Tweens, contact Olivia at, or Whitney at
We've had such a fun month of March during Friday Night's! We can't believe we've been meeting every Friday on Zoom for a full year now, and certainly miss getting to be together in person, but are so grateful to still be able to connect each week together. Know someone 15-24 years old who could use a fun social outlet? Contact Olivia at the email below to receive the link to join STRIVE Night!
Friday Nights at  STRIVE, fondly referred to as "STRIVE  Night," is a relaxed but fun evening of socialization for 15-24 year olds. New members are always welcome, and your first night is free!  STRIVE Night is every Friday from  6-9pm, with at least one special "theme" night happening each month.  For more information, contact Olivia at
We love Thursdays because that means there is usually a STRIVE 25 social. We have so much fun with lots of laughs and catching up with old friends- a perfect way to get ready for Friday! Our STRIVE 25 socials continue to grow, which is so exciting. It has been really nice to spend time with our old friends as well as welcome new members to our program. April gives us 3 opportunities to spend at STRIVE 25 which is awesome! We hope you'll join us this month!
STRIVE 25 is a social event for folks 25 and older, and typically happens here at STRIVE the first Thursday of each month (currently running bi-weekly online during COVID-19). For more information on STRIVE 25, Olivia at
We had lots of great episodes of the STRIVECast in the month of March! We had some phenomenal guests, like Quincy Hentzel of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Meghan Torjussen of WMTW, and more! We also started a new segment at the start of this month - Fun Facts with Jon Keely! Once a month, our friend Jon will join the show and give us some fun facts and trivia on a certain topic. This past month's was about the Underground Tunnels at Disney World!

The STRIVECast is a podcast brought to you by the team at PSL Services/STRIVE in South Portland, Maine — bringing you engaging, hilarious, and thoughtful conversation through one interview week by week. Co-Hosted by two young men with Down Syndrome, the STRIVECast aims to change the voices we typically hear on the radio and through podcasts, as well as to provide meaningful dialogues with all sorts of public figures in our world. We are very proud to be both hosted, produced AND edited by people with disabilities! Like what you hear? Shoot us an email at!
Thank you to our March Donors!
Carol and James Mileson
Tracey Welsch
Elizabeth Allaben and Matthew Chambers
Courtney Sinclair
Matthew Long
Bronawyn OLeary
Lisa Crowning
Nicole Ward- In Memory of Russell Leo
Joyce Raymond & Bill Hume- In Memory of Russell Leo
Susan Kane- In Memory of Russell Leo
Melissa LoPresti/Talty
Shelby Wintle- In Memory of Russell Leo
Heather McIntosh- In Memory of Russell Leo
The Goddesses- In Memory of Russell Leo
Kathryn Giardiello
Tom Dipasqua
John Corbin- In Memory of Russell Leo
Knights of Columbus Maine State Council
Louis and Carol DiBiase- In Memory of Russell Leo
Howard and Eleanor Spear- In Memory of Russell Leo 
Alison Skillings- In Memory of Russell Leo
Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE!
With your support, we are able to continue our work each and every day.
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to our STRIVE members with a birthday in April!
Haley Bell
Jessi Berard
Andrew Bryant
Bridget Parker
Joshua Shaughnessy
Evan Riker
Catlyn Almodovar
Bridget Lally
Megan Pelletier
Daniel Berenson
Bill Munny Vann
Trevor Morin
Rosalie Jones
Hannah Taylor
Member Spotlight

Meet Myles! Myles has been coming to STRIVE Night for over three years now, and has been joining us on Zoom almost every Friday night over the course of the last year! Myles says his favorite part of joining STRIVE Night is "karaoke, being with friends, and doing activities with them." We feel so lucky to have Myles in our STRIVE Night family!
Staff Spotlight

We want to give a giant THANK YOU to our Intern, Melissa, who will be wrapping up her final month with us this month! Melissa has done so much for STRIVE in the past year- she's helped in numerous programs, developed curriculum for our Wednesday Night Ed series, done event outreach, and so much more. Thank you for everything, Melissa, you will be greatly missed!
General Announcements
Community Members Wanted!

Did you know that STRIVE hosts a monthly, free, networking group for those in our local community? The STRIVE Business to Business Networking Group is just one way that we try to be a mutually beneficial partner, with the hope of expanding the networks of our partners and local businesses. 

We are looking to grow! The group meets at noon on the last Wednesday of each month (right now we are meeting virtually). Are you or someone you know interested in joining? Contact Pete ( or Whitney ( for more information about the group and your link to join!
Don't forget, STRIVE has a new store! We've launched an online store to purchase all your STRIVE swag needs! Take a look at all the shop has to offer HERE! There are so many items to choose from AND you can customize any item by choosing the color and STRIVE logo that you want. Happy shopping!