STRIVE News & Updates
August 1st, 2021
Are you, or someone you know in the market for a new job? We're hiring! We have full time, part time, and per diem opportunities available! During the month of August, we are also offering a $500 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, contact Betsy Morrison at [email protected] or at 207-879-0847 x207.

Here's what's happening in our programs!
We’ve had a busy summer so far! The first year students have settled into the program after a busy 2 weeks of orientation. During orientation we introduced the new students on all their goals, went on some fun adventures (like a lobster boat!) and had lots of fun! Now students are working on adjusting to their schedules, learning to navigate around Portland and getting to know each other some more.

The first year students are focusing on personal hygiene during Learning Group. The third year students are getting back into the work force and have been working hard at finding jobs.

We’re looking forward to starting classes in person at SMCC this fall!
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 Katie Collins, Director of Programs, at [email protected] or call (207) 899-0035.
STRIVE WorldWIDE is STRIVE's online program that teaching independent living skills. For more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE, contact Dr. Anne Ryan at [email protected] or at
This summer, TOPS welcomed in new and returning students for their 6-week Extended School Year (ESY) program. Here are some quick facts about TOPS ESY! 

Who is eligible to attend?: Students who will be attending TOPS the upcoming school year, who also qualify for ESY services, and their IEP team agrees it would be the best

Why start in the summer?: Students get to start before the hustle and bustle of the school year, allowing more time to transition into our expectations and to get to know the other students in a more relaxed capacity. We also just have a ton of fun in the

What skills are focused on?: ESY is truly about the maintenance of skills rather than introducing new topics. Our students focus on transferring skills worked on at school and home, just in a new environment! Some examples are community safety, team
building, self-awareness and leisure activities. 
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, [email protected] or by phone at 207-879-0847.
STRIVE Bayside
After a long year, it is so good to be back to Bayside on Cumberland Ave. Our first day back was filled with excitement and anticipation, working on independent skills that will help our participants in their community. We are excited to welcome some new participants this year Ella, Brandon, and Lidia. We also welcomed Charlie and Nate, even though they have not been physically with us during the past year due to COVID this is their first-time on site at Bayside!

Our first week was very busy! We took a tour of the apartment building and the neighborhood. It was refreshing to get out in the sunshine and do some walking. The participants are really looking forward to starting their community goals. This week they learned to walk to the bank and open their own savings account, they navigated to Anthonys for pizza, and toured Hannaford so they could get an idea of the layout in the store. Another one of the participants' goals was to budget for their first menu plan. They will be shopping for these items this following week. Ending our week was Adventure Day Friday, we celebrated by navigating to a local ice cream shop and trying some new flavors.

We know that challenges will continue, however, being back in our home base, increases the comfort and security that will help the participants and staff meet and exceed their expectations. It's so good to be back! 
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 [email protected].
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 [email protected] or 207-879-0847. 
The month of July has been busier than ever! On site we have welcomed some new participants and some returning back to on site programing. We started off the month returning to some of our volunteer sites, Ronald McDonald House, Dempsey Center, and Portland Gear Hub. We are so happy to be back volunteering in our community again. We also started back swimming at the South Portland Community Center! Though it has been rainy this month we got a couple of fun beach days in! We are so happy to be out and about in the community again!

In the virtual world we started off with our famous field trip Friday! We went raspberry picking at The Farm in Cape Elizabeth! In music group we have been learning about all the different genres of music. We also learned how to navigate the subway trains on Google Earth. In writing we are learning how to write a story! We have a have had great month so far! 
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, Active & Waves, please contact Emily at [email protected].
Wednesday Night Educational Series
In July, our Wednesday Night Educational students focused on personal hygiene! Even though we (hopefully) work on personal hygiene habits every day, its always good to review their importance and what we should be doing regularly. This month, we will learn about time management and organization. We will discuss why time management is important, review how to tell time, discuss what we might waste our time on, and then review some organizational techniques that can help us stay on track with our time! This cost for this full series is $20. Hope to see you in August!
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 Whitney [email protected] at  for your link to join class.
It's hard to believe that the start of August already marks week 7 (of 11) of Camp STRIVE! It has been so much fun being together in person this summer versus holding camp on Zoom. We've enjoyed getting to spend our days with campers that we've known for a long time, as well as meeting and making friends with some new campers! In July, we were able to take some fun trips to local beaches and parks and even visited the animals at Smiling Hill Farm. We've also really enjoyed doing a weekly virtual art project with the Center for Maine Contemporary Art! We're looking forward to all that's in store for this month, including STRIVE Olympics, tie dying (a Camp STRIVE favorite!), and visiting places like Fort Williams and Mackworth Island.
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 Whitney Wildes at [email protected].
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 [email protected] or 207-879-0847. 
We continue to have so much fun in Tweens each week! Our scheduled activities have been a big hit, but there is always time for socializing before and after we do the activity each week. In July, we tried some new activities, including virtual "field trips" and testing out the Blob Opera on Google, which was so much fun! Do you know someone between the ages of 11-14 that would like to join our weekly Tweens social? Let us know! We love to welcome new members to the group!
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 Whitney at [email protected].
STRIVE Night remains to be one of our most popular programs. We continue to see familiar faces each week. It is nice to end our weeks with STRIVE Night- catching up with friends, playing games, listening to music and more! In July, we welcomed Conner to the STRIVE Night team. We're excited to have her with us! We have even more fun planned for August...can't wait to see you all there!
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 Whitney at [email protected].
STRIVE 25 continues to bring lots of laughs when we meet every other Thursday. It is so nice to be able to check in with each other while we're still not all back in-person. Karaoke is always such a hit... our group is very talented! We even tried some group songs this month, which was a ton of fun! In August, we will be meeting on the 5th and 19th. Hope to see you there!
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, contact Whitney at [email protected].
July was an exciting month on The STRIVECast with some great guests! We welcomed Nick Whiston from The Telling Room, Annika Schmidt from Garbage to Garden (pictured below), Will Groves from The Ronald McDonald House, and our very own Community Supports Program Manager, Maggie Bohrmann! Its always so interesting to talk to our guests and learn about them and their organizations/businesses! We've also learned a lot during our monthly trivia game "Susie's Q's!" and have had some fun listening to "Noeltry" and our "Ask Jeff" segments. Do you have guest suggestions or questions for our crew? Email us at [email protected]!
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 [email protected]!
Thank you to our July Donors!
  • Carolyn Neilson- In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Richard Plant and Kathleen Keber- In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Samantha Leavitt
  • David Haskell- In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Judith Knapp- In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Cheryl Libby, Barbara Taylor, Susan Keeley, and Roxanne Sage- In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • The Family of Tom Robinson Sr. – In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Barry Dunlap- In honor of Caleb Dunlap
  • Patricia Kurowski
  • Catherine Campbell
  • Ethel Johnson- In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Carole Hackett- In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • James and Amy Saffian- In memory of William “Bill” Hughes
  • Frank and Vicki Schmidt- In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Daniel and Maureen Schmidt- In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Philip and Barbara Joyce/from the family of Gene and Linnie Robinson) – In memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Peter and Rosemary Goranites

And a big thank you to all who have donated in honor of those running this year's virtual Beach To Beacon on behalf of STRIVE!
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 August!
Linda Murray
Tiffany Farides
Ashley Gore
Dave Gardner
Lidia Woofenden
Anthony Giftos
Lucas Bonica
Cole Igneri
Chloe Britton
Alannah Barrasso
Noah Sullivan
James Raymond
Anthony Mains
Thatcher Kent
Tyra Gnade
Yasmine Ben Malek
Benjamin Trimble-Smith
Darren Robinson
Alli Brooking
Bre Parentaeu
Andrew Hall
Andrew Giannotti

Member Spotlight

Meet Andy! Andy is a current student at STRIVE U, and a graduate of our TOPS program! Andy hails from Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Andy tells us his favorite part of being at STRIVE U is “being in his own apartment and hanging out with friends.” We’re glad to have Andy in the STRIVE family!
Staff Spotlight

Meet Ericka! Ericka is our newest Camp STRIVE counselor! You might also see Ericka in our Community Supports program and filling in from time to time during STRIVE Night and STRIVE 25! We welcomed Ericka to the STRIVE team this summer. Ericka says "I love working at STRIVE because it is an extremely welcoming and inclusive place. Everyone is encouraged to be themselves and I'm always excited to see how much fun the campers have each day!". The next time you see Ericka, be sure to say hello! Thank you for all you do, Ericka! We're so happy you've joined our team!
General Announcements
STRIVE Auction 2021
The STRIVE Events Team and Auction Committee are in the beginning stages of planning STRIVE's 17th Annual Auction! As many things, this year's event is going to look a little different than it has in the past. We will be organizing a hybrid event, with a small in-person kick-off Wednesday, October 27th and online bidding open October 27th through November 3rd. We will be using the website "Bidding For Good", which we used last year, for the online portion of the event. More information about the auction will be made public soon!

Are you interested in donating an item or experience to this year's auction? Is your business or another business you know of interested in becoming a sponsor of the event? For all things auction, contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney, at [email protected].

Our auction website- - will be kept up to date with more auction details as we get closer to the event.
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 ([email protected]) or Whitney ([email protected]) 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!