STRIVE News & Updates
April 1st, 2022
Exciting social events update!

After two years on Zoom, we are SO excited to announce plans for our Tweens (ages 11-14), STRIVE Night (ages 15-24) and STRIVE 25 (ages 25 and up) socials to return to in-person programming!

We will also offer a hybrid option for all of these programs. More information on that to come!

As of right now, all current COVID-19 protocols will be in place (masks, social distancing, etc.). We will be sure to keep our website up to date with current COVID-19 guidelines within our social programs.

Tweens and STRIVE Night will return with in person options on Friday, May 6th!

Starting in June, STRIVE 25 will meet twice per month - once in person and once on Zoom!

We will be asking all participants who come to our socials to complete an updated membership form. You are welcome to complete the membership form before returning in-person if you'd like!
Questions about returning in person? Contact Alex Woodhouse at or Whitney Wildes at or call 207.774.6278.
Image Description (ID): Career Fair flyer with event information and 3 photos of staff working with STRIVE participants.
Are you, or someone you know in the market for a new job?
We're hiring! We will be holding a career fair Thursday, April 14th from 12-6pm.
We will even have prizes at the door for those who attend!

We have full time, part time, and per diem opportunities available (including weekdays, evenings, and weekends)! For the month of April, we are also offering a $2,000 sign on bonus plus an additional $250 bonus for those that are already DSP or MHRT certified! Click Here to browse our open positions!

If you have questions about our current openings or our upcoming career fair, contact Betsy Morrison at or at 207-879-0847 x207.

Here's what's happening in our programs!
STRIVE U students are busy getting out in the community! A group of students volunteered at the Animal Refuge League this month. The students took a behind-the-scenes tour of the shelter, met lots of adoptable animals (cats, dogs, and guinea pigs), and helped make enrichment toys for the shelter dogs! The students really enjoyed helping! Thank you, Animal Refuge League of Portland, for hosting our students and helping get them involved in the community! 
ID: 5 STRIVE U students and two staff sitting on a bench at the Animal Refuge League of Portland.
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 virtual tour, or get an application, please contact or call (207) 774.6278.
 STRIVE WorldWIDE By The Numbers: 400 And Counting
STRIVE WorldWIDE students are wrapping up their February classes and getting ready for April classes (Self-Advocacy & Boundaries, and Cooking & Meal Planning, beginning 4/11/22). As we reflect on all the work we’ve done over the last 3 years, we just broke our 400+ student mark! Check out our breakdown of STRIVE WorldWIDE, By The Numbers:
·       402 students taught
·       34 classes taught 
·       22 states represented by our students
·       2 countries represented by our students
·       65% of our students are from Maine
·       Students from 8 of 16 counties

If you are interested in learning more about our classes, check out our course catalog here
ID: Blue background with image of the state of Maine. Maine is divided into different colors/counties. Statistics of the SWW program are listed on the side.
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
During March, TOPS welcomed in 10 prospective students for the upcoming school year. Our current students have found excitement over seeing former classmates or peers they know from other aspects of their lives and have welcomed each student in! As we get closer to the end of the year, our group is venturing out more into the community and really showing just how much growth has happened since July.

Some community activities have included practicing using the METRO to Downtown Portland, community scavenger hunts to become more familiar with our community, shopping trips to local businesses and using the walking track at the South Portland Community Center. Our students have continued volunteering at the Ronald McDonald Charity House in Portland and are back doing some cleaning at the Dempsey Center, which has been an invaluable experience.
ID: 3 TOPS students standing outside of the Ronald McDonald House. The house is white with black shutters and the students are standing on a brick sidewalk.
ID: 4 TOPS students waiting outside at the city bus stop. Behind them is the Books A Million store and parking lot.
ID: TOPS student walking on the indoor tack. There are white walls and blue/wooden railings and a blue floor with a white stripe.
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
Each day is getting a bit warmer here at Bayside and participants are taking longer routes walking around town to enjoy the spring sunshine. This month we began adventuring down to play squash at Portland Community Squash to get some exercise.

We have also been exploring spices and learning about the different flavors spices can add to a dish. Eager to test out some new spices, participants added cinnamon to French toast, garlic to shepherd’s pie, and oregano to spaghetti sauce. Each week everyone picks a spice to research where it comes from and what foods it is found in.

Participants celebrated St. Patty’s Day with green spaghetti and shamrock shakes and decorated our apartment door with shamrocks. This month we also returned to the bus to check out our surrounding area of South Portland and the South Portland Public Library. One highlighted moment from this month is finally getting back outside to enjoy adventure day. We are lucky to have a patio that we can enjoy the warm weather on and participants took in the sunshine while eating treats from a local favorite bakery; 2 Fat Cats. We hope next month will bring even more outdoor adventures.
ID: STRIVE Bayside participant adding spices to shepard's pie.
ID: STRIVE Bayside participant showing bowl of pasta.
ID: STRIVE Bayside participant showing food on a plate. There is also another participant being him.
ID: STRIVE Bayside participant and staff using a rolling pin on dough.
ID: Two STRIVE Bayside participants standing outside. They are on a brick sidewalk and have a large statue of a man sitting on something in-between them.
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. 
This month we continued our winter activities! Our participants have started going ice skating each week at the Family Ice Center in Falmouth. Ice skating is a great way to keep us active in the winter. We are continuing to learn how to budget our money with counting our wallets each week to make sure we have enough money for our fun activities like dancing, cooking, and bowling. We also started learning about pre-employment skills. We thought about our dream jobs and searched what we needed to do in order to get our dream job.
 In our virtual groups, we are continuing to learn how to navigate our community with Google Earth. We are still able to join dance virtually every Wednesday. In our photography group we are learning how to take great photos with our smart phones! We are learning how to take care of ourselves and why it’s important in our self-care group.
ID: Two STRIVE participants on a walk, smiling at the camera. The ocean is in the background.
ID: Three STRIVE participants standing together and smiling. They are outside, standing in front of a statue.
ID: Three STRIVE participants and one STRIVE staff taking a "selfie". All are smiling and looking at the camera.
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, ACTIVE & WAVES, please contact Emily at
Wednesday Night Educational Series
April will be an exciting month in our Wednesday Night Educational Series as we will be offering a new hybrid model! Students will have the opportunity to attend virtually, on Zoom, from 6-7pm or attend in person from 6-8pm! During the month of April, we will be learning all about sustainability and going green. We will also have guest teachers from ecomaine and Garbage to Garden leading two of our classes!

If you are interested in attending Wednesday Night Educational Series, please fill out the registration form here.
Image Description: green flyer with darker green border. The recycling symbol is in the top left and there is an image of two hands holding the world, with six trees along the top of the world, in the bottom right. Series information is written in green and blue text in the middle of the flyer.
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 Alex at at  for your link to join class.
We have opened registration for Camp STRIVE summer 2022! We are still ironing out the details but all current information can be found on our website. At the bottom of the camp page, you will find the ‘Register Here’ button. We are asking for a deposit (equal to one full week of camp) to hold a camper’s spot. Register today!  

As a reminder, Camp STRIVE is a day camp experience for campers between the ages of 11-24. Camp STRIVE runs for the full summer, with full and half day options available!
Image Description (ID): Camp STRIVE information with photo of 3 campers in the middle. Image of a sunshine in the top left corner and Camp STRIVE logo in bottom right corner.
Camp STRIVE is a day-camp experience for campers between the ages of 11-24. Camp STRIVE is held every school vacation (February, April, and the day before Thanksgiving) as well as for the full summer. For more information about Camp STRIVE, contact Alex Woodhouse 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. 
Happy April We're looking forward to another great month of Tweens and we hope you'll join us for some fun virtual activities! Did you see the exciting news at the top of the Newsletter!? Tweens will be returning in person on Friday, May 6th!
Virtual April Schedule:
April 1: Arts & Crafts
April 8: Game Night
April 15: Dance Party!
April 22: Virtual Field Trip
April 29: Making Music

We've updated our Tweens membership forms and are asking all new and current Tweens to fill out an updated version. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description (ID): White border with tie dyed orange, purple, green, and pink colors in the middle. Image of a pink leaf in the top left corner, orange circle in the top right corner and two pink and orange leaves in both bottom corners. Virtual April Tweens information is in the middle
Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new friendships and learn new skills for folks 11-14 years old. Currently on Zoom, 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 Alex at
We're looking forward to another great month of virtual STRIVE Night! We're meeting every Friday in March and we're looking forward to some great conversation, singing karaoke, playing bingo and answering some fun would you rather questions! Join us on April 15th for our Spring Fling themed STRIVE Night!

Did you see the exciting news at the top of the Newsletter?! STRIVE Night will be offering a new hybrid model, including in person options starting on Friday, May 6th! We've updated our STRIVE Night membership forms and are asking all new and current STRIVE Night participants to fill out an updated version if they plan on attending in person. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description (ID): Dark grey background with pink, white, green, and orange flowers along the top and bottom. STRIVE Night information is the center of the flyer written in green, pink, and white.
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 on Zoom from  6-9pm, with at least one special "theme" night happening each month.  For more information, contact Alex at
STRIVE 25 is meeting twice in April and we're excited to continue welcoming new members! We have a great time checking in with each other, cheering each other on as we sing karaoke, getting competitive playing a few rounds of bingo and answering some fun would you rather questions! We hope to see you on April 7th and April 21st!
Did you see the exciting news at the top of the newsletter?! STRIVE 25 will be returning in person on Thursday, June 2nd! Starting in June, we will be meeting twice a month - once in person and once on Zoom! We're also asking all new and current STRIVE 25 members to fill out an updated Membership Form. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description (ID): light pink flyer with thick yellow border. There are pink, white, orange, and blue flowers with green leaves along the top and bottom. Virtual STRIVE 25 information is in the middle of the flyer.
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 from 6-8pm during COVID-19). For more information on STRIVE 25, contact Whitney at or Alex at!
The STRIVECast had a great month of March and interviewed some awesome guests! We got to talk to Sam Zager - State Legislator and family physician, Gabi and Mary - founders of Gabi's Grounds, Judge Goranites - friend of STRIVE, and Emily and Lisa of Emily's Designs!. We hope you enjoyed listening to these conversations as much as we enjoyed having them! Do you have a guest idea for an upcoming show? Let us know!
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!
Carolyn Carson
Dan Staples
Barry Dunlap- In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
Cynthia and George Gamage- In Memory of Bruce Bohrmann
Catherine Campbell
Cynthia and Lawrence Vaughan
Harry Pringle- In Memory of Joanne Pringle
Knights of Columbus State Council Disability Fund
Bob and Marcey Brody – In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Mary Young- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Beatriz Koltis- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
David Rattner- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Rhonda Martens- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Salomon Wancier- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Sarah Murray- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Elizabeth Gaudet- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Marija Blazevic- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Ana Chavez- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Karolee Boulton- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Sandra Martel - In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Lisa Schumacher - In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Kimberly Green- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Jennifer Glazer- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Wendy Northrup- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Kathleen Serunian- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Lauren Diaz- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Mary Ann Underkoffler - In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Fishman Realty- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Mardi Kennedy- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Joseph Dancoes - In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Steve Martel - In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Greg and Nancy Knight- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Mark Malone- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
G. Robert & Jean Russo- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Peter Bouchard- In Memory of Casey Bouchard
Samantha Leavitt
Image Description (ID): white background with a circle of colored flowers in the middle. Text in the middle reads "Thank You".
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!
Image Description (ID): Black background with three cupcakes in the middle. Icing on the cupcakes is blue, yellow, and pink. On top of the cupcakes are lit candles that read "Happy Birthday."

Haley Bell
Jessi Berard
Andrew Bryant
Bridget Parker
Joshua Shaughnessy
Catlyn Almodovar
Bridget Lally
Megan Pelletier
Daniel Berenson
Bill Munny Vann
Trevor Morin
Rosalie Jones
Hannah Taylor
Member Spotlight

Meet Hayden! Hayden attends our virtual STRIVE Nights and is Vice President of our STRIVE Night Advisory Board! Hayden says, "I like being on the STRIVE Night Advisory Board!"

Image Description: photo of member spotlight, Hayden. He is wearing a red shirt and is smiling.
Staff Spotlight
Image Description: photo of staff spotlight, Jess. She is a grey shirt and jeans with sunglasses on her head. She is standing outside in and is holding a dog.

Meet Jess! Jess is the STRIVE U Transition Coordinator. She says, "My favorite thing about working at STRIVE U is that I am able to be a part of such a supportive and positive team. I also really enjoy how every day is different. I am always learning new things, and I have new experiences every shift, which helps prevent me from having mundane days!" We're so thankful to have you, Jess!
General Announcements
Beach To Beacon
The TD Beach To Beacon is back this year and STRIVE has a limited number of bibs available! Would you like to run? We ask all race participants who run on behalf of STRIVE fundraise a minimum of $350. This covers the B2B registration fee as well as a special STRIVE B2B race shirt! Interested in a bib? Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes, at to claim your bib! Bibs will be given on a first come, first serve basis.
ID: Green flyer with bib information. The bottom of the flyer has the STRIVE logo, a picture of runners (feet) and the TD Beach To Beacon logo.
Share The Love

We wanted to give a big thank you to all who participated in Patriot Subaru's 2021 Share the Love event! The Share the Love campaign raised a total of $41,061.00 for STRIVE programs. The STRIVE events team met with the Patriot Subaru group earlier this week for a check presentation. We are so grateful for your support, Patriot Subaru, as well as the support of those that participated in the Share the Love campaign!
ID: The STRIVE Events Team (Peter Brown, Whitney Wildes, Alex Woodhouse) and Patriot Subaru team smiling a waving. The group is holding an oversized check with the "Share The Love" logo and amount raised.
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!
Image Description (ID): gray background with a dark blue border. The STRIVE logo is in the top right. Text is in black and reads "business to business networking group."
Don't forget, STRIVE has an updated 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! 
Image Description (ID): white background with two rows of swag. Top row from left to right is a gray backpack with the STRIVE WorldWIDE logo, a black mug with the STRIVECast logo, a white t-shirt with the STRIVE logo, and a blue baseball hat with a STRIVE U logo. Bottom row from left to right is a blue tote bag with a PSL Services/STRIVE log, a gray sweatshirt with a STRIVE U logo, and a white travel mug with a STRIVE logo.