STRIVE News & Updates

August 1st, 2022


Every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm

*in person*


Every Friday from 6-9pm

*in person and virtual options*


Thursday, August 4th and 18th

from 6-8pm

*In person August 4th,

Virtual August 18th*

STRIVE for 5: Foden Road 5K and Block Party

*in-person and virtual options*

Saturday, August 27th

8:30am with Block Party immediately to follow

Kevin on the Roof 2022 

Friday, September 9th 

More info to come!

STRIVE's Annual Auction 

Coming this fall! 

For more information about programs and upcoming events,

visit our website at!

Scroll down to read about your favorite STRIVE programs and more!

  • STRIVE Bayside
  • Next STEP
  • Wednesday Night Educational Series
  • Camp STRIVE
  • After School
  • Tweens
  • STRIVE Night
  • STRIVE 25
  • The STRIVECast

Special Features
  • Monthly Donors
  • Monthly Birthdays
  • Member Spotlight
  • Staff Spotlight
  • General Announcements and Events

Need to contact STRIVE?

Email or call (207)774.6278 to get in touch with a STRIVE staff or program!
Visit our website
Donate to STRIVE

STRIVE For 5- Foden Road 5K

and Block Party! 

Save the date! Our STRIVE for 5 5K and Block Party is this month! We are excited to welcome our race back in-person after two years! We will also continue to have a virtual 5K option for those that do not want to participate in person.

Registration is NOW OPEN! 

  CLICK HERE to register now! 

When:  Saturday, August 27th, 2022

Children’s Fun Run begins at 8am, 5K/Walk Begins at 8:30am

Block Party immediately follows the 5k/Walk

Rain or Shine

Where: STRIVE, 28 Foden Road, South Portland ME 04106

Entry Fee: $30 per person before 08/25. $35 for participants signing up on 08/26 (packet pick-up) or 08/27 (day-of).

    Participants 12 and under are free with an adult.        

    Every participant receives a shirt from STRIVE and free admittance to all elements of the block party.


Race Info: Children’s Fun Run will start at the STRIVE parking lot and go to the end of Foden Road (will be closed to traffic) before turning around to finish back at the parking lot. During the 5k, runners will line up and walkers will follow. The course runs from STRIVE on Foden Road through Texas Instruments’ Property onto Jet Port Plaza Road then circles back. Spectators can view the race on Foden Road & Jetport Road. Map available HERE

Awards: Presented to top male & female per age group: 12 and Under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+.

Free Block Party: Please join the STRIVE Business to Business Networking Group immediately following the race at the Block Party right at STRIVE! This is a family friendly event featuring music, kids’ activities, food and more! 

Need more info? Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes at

ID: STRIVE for 5 logo

Be sure to save the date for our other Fall events! More info to come on both!  

  • Our 10th Annual Kevin on the Roof event begins Friday, September 9th at Patriot Subaru in Saco! What do you think Kevin's 2022 goal will be?? 

  • Our auction committee is also hard at work planning our 18th annual auction! Our event date is still to be determined, but its not too early to start collecting item donations! Are you, or someone you know, interested in donating an item, experience or something else? Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes, at to find out how! 
Image Description (ID): "We're Hiring!" flyer with position and contact 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 for a number of positions!

We have full time, part time, and per diem opportunities available- including weekdays, evenings, and weekends!

For the month of August, we are also offering a $1,750 sign on bonus (after 30 days of successful employment) 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 or at 207-879-0847 x207.

Here's what's happening in our programs!

STRIVE U Students are busy beating the heat this summer! Students had the opportunity to go Lobstering on the Lucky Catch Cruise. They caught lobster and crabs and got to ride around Casco Bay! Students and Staff have also been enjoying playing games outside and enjoying the fresh air! 

ID: 4 pictures of STRIVE U students on a lobster boat. 2 of the photos include students holding lobsters. 

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.
Click here for more information about STRIVE U

Summer Lovin’! Did you know that Social Skills & Healthy Relationships class is our MOST requested class of all time? Why? We think this is because everyone struggles with relationships at one time or another. There are so many different types of relationships and they are all different; of course, it's challenging to know what to do when. How is a relationship with your boss different than a relationship with your best friend? How is a dating relationship different than a relationship with my family? Is my paid support staff a friend? We don't promise to have all the answers, but we hope to share some helpful hints that you can use to decode behavior and help you make a plan for your future. Once we have some of the basics down, we'll dive into some hugely important topics of privacy and consent and how to say (and accept) No! We will reserve plenty of time each class for questions and answers and provide a link to ask questions anonymously. I'd bet someone else is curious about the same topic! 


If you are interested in learning more about our classes or joining us for Social Skills & Healthy Relationships, check out our course catalog here. Disclaimer: This course will cover many sensitive or mature topics, including abuse, sex & sexuality, gender identity, and sexual identity. 

ID: STRIVE WorldWIDE flyer with upcoming class information (Social Skills and Healthy Relationships). 

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
Click here for more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE

TOPS has had a busy summer so far! Our 6-week Extended School Year summer program kicked off early July, welcoming 13 new students and 13 returning students. The students jumped right in, learning about community and personal safety, navigating our community and getting used to the expectations of our program.

One activity that combined many new skills was our nature photography class. The students were tasked with exploring an area with their group and taking pictures of anything in the environment that may look like a letter. The students then compiled these images to make a collection of letters, which were further used to create words digitally.  The students will have more opportunities to try new activities like this one throughout the summer! 

ID: TOPS student working on an ipad

ID: TOPS student taking a picture with an ipad outside. 

ID: The words "STRIVE TOPS" spelled out with different images of pictures students took. 


Interested in TOPS? TOPS (Transition Outcomes Program for Students) provides transition programming for high school students from area school districts who are typically 18 years and older. For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison, or by phone at 207-879-0847.

Click here for more information about TOPS
STRIVE Bayside

This month Bayside participants were busy working on a community scavenger hunt. The hunt contained over 80 questions all about our local community resources and landmarks and out of the three teams whoever found the most photographs, or in-person answers won a summer themed prize at the end of the month. See below some of the answers like finding a food truck, finding a Maine state flag downtown, riding the ferry to Peaks Island, seeing the big red and white welcome sign, and locating as many small lighthouses as they can. The scavenger hunt also encouraged our Bayside participants to communicate with community members. Thanks to this Bayside now as a delicious recipe for pumpkin cookies and homemade macaroni and cheese from our neighbors at Back Bay Tower!

This month, we also wrapped up our last Danceability session and the participants are already asking for other ways to exercise using dance. We hope to try out a new group exercise in the near future. We will spend the end of the month enjoying the patio at our building with a Bayside Barbeque.

ID: 2 Bayside participants sitting on red benches. They are on the ferry boat. 

ID: 2 Bayside participants standing in front of a white food truck. 

ID: 4 Bayside participants sitting on top of large rocks. 

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
Click here for more information about Bayside

This month the ACTIVE group has been staying active by participating in weekly yoga sessions over at STRIVE Studios. We’ve been learning everything from how to do a Tree Pose to perfecting the Warrior Stance with our yoga instructor, Lisa. Additionally, both our ACTIVE and WAVES groups have been tapping into their creative sides by heading over to STRIVE Studios weekly to work on art projects, do music therapy, dance, and sew! STRIVE Studios has been providing great opportunity for us to get creative and to try new and fun activities!

ID: An ACTICE participant and staff stretching on yoga mats on the floor. 

ID: 2 ACTIVE participants stretching on yoga mats on the floor. 

For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, ACTIVE & WAVES, please contact Community Support Program Director, Veerle Pottie, at
Click here for more information about ACTIVE/WAVES
Wednesday Night Educational Series

The Wednesday Night Educational Series is held every Wednesday, with a hybrid model, 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. For more information or for your link to join class, contact Alex at

Click here for more information about STRIVE's Wednesday Night Educational Series

July was a great month in Camp STRIVE! We celebrated Outer Space Week with a trip to the planetarium and had some fun animal encounters at the Maine Wildlife Park and Smiling Hill Farm. We finished the month with Beach Week where we also celebrated Shark Week and made some cool shark headbands. We also got out and enjoyed some of Maine’s beautiful beaches! 

ID: Seven campers and one counselor at the planetarium

ID: five campers wearing homemade shark headbands

ID: four campers sitting on a bench and one camper standing at Maine Wildlife Park

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

Click here for more information about Camp STRIVE

Happy August! We had a great July with in-person Tweens activities and we’re excited for another fun month! In August we will have another visit from a therapy dog, play some games, and make a tasty summertime snack! Tweens is free and meets every Friday from 3:30-5:30!

ID: White flyer with Tweens program information and dates in the middle. There is a yellow crown on the top, three stars on the right, a yellow sun in the bottom right, and a red star on the left. 

Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new friendships and learn new skills for folks 11-14 years old. 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
Click here for more information about Tweens

STRIVE Night is looking forward to another fun month of Friday night socials! We will meet every Friday this month and will continue our hybrid model of having virtual and in-person options! On Friday, August 19th we will rollout the red carpet for a special Hollywood themed STRIVE Night! 

ID: Black flyer with STRIVE Night program information and dates in the middle. There are two gold awards on the top right and left of the flyer, and red carpet with glitter on either side in the middle. There is a velvet rope image on the bottom left. 

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
Click here for more information about STRIVE Night

STRIVE 25 has another fun month of in-person and virtual socials planned! On Thursday, August 4th we will meet at Foden Road for a STRIVE 25 talent show and on Thursday, August 18th we will meet on Zoom for karaoke, bingo, and good conversation! We hope to see you there! 

ID: teal flyer with an action sign in the middle with STRIVE 25 August dates. There are five white stars around the outside. 

STRIVE 25 is a social event for folks 25 and older. It currently runs on the first and third Thursday of each month from 6-8pm. The first Thursday is in person and the third Thursday is on Zoom! For more information on STRIVE 25, contact Whitney at or Alex at!

Click here for more information about STRIVE 25

The STRIVECast team had a great month of July and had the opportunity to talk to some amazing guests and play some fun games! We also welcomed a new sponsor, The Scribes, to the show! For interviews, we got to talk to our own podcast traffic director - Alex Woodhouse, WAVES Program Coordinator - Abby Bohlen, and local artist and referee - Dave Berrang! We also got to play the Newlywed game with Ryan and Hillary! 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!

ID: screenshot of a Zoom recording. There are eight squares - the seven members of the STRIVECast team and one guest. 

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!
Click here for more information on The STRIVECast

Thank you to our July Donors!

Rita Ann Smith

Ellen DeCotiis

Barry Dunlap- In Honor of Caleb Dunlap

Catherine Campbell 

Eyecare Medical Group 

and to those who have donated to STRIVE on behalf of our Beach to Beacon runners!

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 August!

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."

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 Cameron! Cameron attends Camp STRIVE and our Friday Tweens program! He said his favorite thing about STRIVE is "having fun with friends!"

Image Description (ID): member spotlight, Cameron, sitting and smiling

Staff Spotlight

Image Description (ID): staff spotlight, Hannah, standing inside on a staircase. 

Meet Hannah! Hannah is one of our camp counselors at Camp STRIVE! She says her  favorite thing about STRIVE "is the huge variety of programs they offer that are specially built for the needs of the community. I think those programs are really important and they are so beneficial for everyone involved! I believe the world would be a much better place if it had more organizations like STRIVE!" We're grateful to have you, Hannah! 

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!
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.
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New members: You will be asked to complete an updated information form upon your arrival to Tweens, STRIVE Night or STRIVE 25. Want to get a head start? Visit to submit your membership form today!
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