PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

August 1, 2017
Kevin On The Roof 2017

It's that time of year again- when our superstar volunteer Kevin heads back onto the roof of Patriot Subaru to raise money for STRIVE!  Come celebrate Kevin's ascendance onto the roof, and help him get off to a great start for a quick stay up there! With music from the  J.C. Underhill Band , food, punch, and raffle prizes, join us as we kick off one of our bravest fundraisers of the year. 

August 30th, 6pm @ Patriot Subaru in Saco!

Foden Road 5K

There's still plenty of time to register for the the Foden Road 5K Race!  Registration is $25 in advance, but you can save $5 online with the code "EARLYBIRD." Registration is $30 day-of. Kids run free with participating adult! As always, f ollowing the race is a block party with family-friendly activities, live music, food, and more.  

Join us Saturday, September 9th, with the Kids Fun Run at 8:00 AM and the 5K at 8:30 at Kaplan University in South Portland.
To sign up, or to arrange for a free booth for your business at our block party, visit


STRIVE U welcomes the class of 2019! The new students had a busy couple of weeks the first two weeks that they arrived as they learned all about STRIVE U during orientation. During the two week orientation, the first year students were introduced to residential life on campus, toured many areas of the community, and took several fun community trips to become acquainted with all that Portland has to offer. Some of the community activities included riding the ferry to Peaks Island, touring Casco Bay on a harbor cruise and learning about the history of Portland on a trolley tour. The students also enjoyed watching a Sea Dogs baseball game on the Fourth of July which concluded with a fireworks show!


The second year students are settling into their new role as well. They have been very welcoming to the incoming students and have been "showing them the ropes" of STRIVE U. They have also accompanied the first year students on some of their community and team building activities as a way to foster friendships between the two classes.
STRIVE U would also like to welcome our new Education and Training Coordinator - Shelby Cogan! Shelby has been with PSL/STRIVE as a staff member since 2013 and has been involved in many of the STRIVE programs including; Camp STRIVE, After School, STRIVE Night, Next STEP, and most recently as a Teaching Assistant with STRIVE U. She is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and her teaching experience includes The New England Center for Children and St. Lawrence NYSARC Transitions Program. Shelby brings a positive attitude and excellent work ethic to the program and the students all enjoy working with her very much.
STRIVE U is a comprehensive two-year residential, post-secondary educational opportunity. To learn more about the program, schedule a tour or get an application, please contact Bill Hughes, STRIVE U Admissions Coordinator at or call (207) 774-6278.

Next Step    

During the month of August, the Next STEPPERS have been continuing to nurture the community garden that we share with Kaplan University, which is looking great! In our garden this year we are growing cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes, and so much more. Our garden is growing and the Next STEPPERS can hardly wait to get some nice fresh fruits and vegetables out of it!

Also this month, Next STEP is taking advantage of the nice summer weather by going on several hikes each week. Next STEP began with their first hike up Bradbury Mountain where they got to enjoy a picnic lunch after a long hike.  For their second hike the Next STEPPERS took an afternoon hike at Fore River Sanctuary in Portland.  This is a wonderful way to explore the many beautiful spots in this area as well as continue to work on our wellness and exercise goals.

Next STEP also gained some new Next STEPPERS! Next STEP would like to Welcome Lucas, Nick, and Joyce. We are happy to have you!!

Next STEP is a great option offering quality curriculum for those who are on a waiting list for other services, in combination with other services or for those who may not qualify for other services. Please contact Betsy Morrison at or 207-774-6278 if you would like more information regarding Next STEP or would like to schedule a tour. Part-time and full-time options are available. 


One important part of living independently is keeping your apartment or house clean. At STRIVE Bayside we work on cleaning every day. Since we are in an apartment we have the opportunity to practice cleaning lots of different rooms, from kitchens to bathrooms and bedrooms!  We use a clipboard that has each step to cleaning a room listed out and follow each step to make sure our apartment stays squeaky clean! While cleaning isn't everyone's favorite goal we have learned that if we get it out of the way at the beginning of our day it doesn't seem like it's too much work! Some of the awesome cleaning skills we practice daily at Bayside are sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, washing windows and mirrors and SO much more! Looking to beef up your cleaning skills, or learn how to maintain your own apartment? Find more information about STRIVE Bayside below!

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, 9:00-1:00and 1:00- 5:00. We offer full time (Monday- Friday) and part time (Tuesday, Thursday -or- Monday, Wednesday, Friday) options. 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: Caroline Cole at 774-6278 or

The TOPS Extended School Year session began in July, welcoming 13 students into a new classroom.  The students were able to spread out in the new room that is twice the size of the previous classroom, which has allowed for more group work and less congestion.

TOPS is halfway through the ESY session and the students officially have their classroom job assignments to which they applied and interviewed.  They have explored different areas of southern Maine and have even taken the METRO a few times.  The group has a strong social dynamic and some friendships have already begun. 

STRIVE TOPS serves students from school districts who are in their 13th or 14th year of school.  If you have questions or would like more information about TOPS, please contact Betsy Morrison at 207-774-6278 or
July has been such a fun month for Tweens, with a smaller group allowing some closer friendships to form! We had an awesome 4th of July party, and a crazy water balloon fight. This was our last month with Michaila, and we are going to miss her so much! The tweens, families and staff thank her for all of her hard work and dedication to the program and participants. 

Check out what we've got in store for August Tweens! In the meantime between Michaila transitioning out and our new Jesuit Volunteer transitoning in, Olivia and Stefanie will be overseeing Tweens! Please contact them regarding any questions or comments about Tweens.

Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new skills and friendships for 11-14 year olds with developmental disabilities. 

STRIVE Nights have been amazing this past month! Our 4th of July theme was amazing, and we just had our Baseball theme night which was so much fun! We had a visit from Slugger, Sea Dog Biscuits, baseball games, and of course tons of dancing. 

In August we'll be having our first Around The World theme night, with different countries represented with their own booths, sharing their food and culture with all of our participants! 

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 welcome, and your first night is free!  For more information, contact Olivia at

Wednesday Night Educational Series

This month we had The Art Of Storytelling in Wednesday Ed- our students worked really hard all month crafting their stories, which culminated in a coffee-shop style live-read at Books A Million! The storytellers performed their work in front of a crowd and each did wonderfully.

Wednesday Ed will be taking a summer vacation for the month of August, so there will be no class this month! We will see you in September for our money management series!

Camp STRIVE   

We've been having an amazing summer in Camp! We've taken some incredible field trips and made some great friends. We've enjoyed a trip on the Casco Bay ferry, seen the pirates exhibit at the Portland Science Center, jumped at Get Air and more. We are in week six of our ten week summer camp, and we can't believe how fast it's gone by. Our counselors have been incredible at providing a fun and inclusive environment for all of our campers! Could you or someone you know use a fun summer camp? It's not too late to sign up for our remaining weeks! Contact Olivia for more information at

Camp STRIVE provides tween, teens and young adults, ages 11-24, with a supportive, safe, and active program during school vacations and throughout the summer. During each camp session, campers participate in activities including cooking, community trips, arts and crafts, games and physical fitness and of course social time! Campers are supported at all times by professional staff who have completed PSL's full training and are certified Direct Support Professionals.  
Aktion Club 

Car Wash Season is here! Come Support Aktion Club as they raise money for their holiday family on August 16th 3-4pm in the STRIVE parking lot!

Aktion Club is collecting soda tabs for Ronald McDonald House! All tabs can be dropped off in the soda tab collection boxes found around STRIVE.
Upcoming Meetings:
August 2nd
August 16th - Car Wash from 3-4pm in the STRIVE parking lot!

STRIVE U Open House

STRIVE U is having our annual open house Sunday, October 1st on our campus in Portland. Keep us on your calendars as you make your fall plans, and share with anyone you know who may be interested in finding out more about our program.

Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!

Anthony (AJ)  Mains
Darren Robinson
Allison Brooking
Andrew Hall
Breanna Marie Parentaeu
Jacquelyn (Jackie) Guiseley
Michael Ogon
Michael Christopher Lamoreau
Linda Murray
Tiffany Farides
Ashley Gore
Lidia Woofenden
Anthony Giftos
Lucas Bonica
Cole Igneri
Chloe Britton
James   Raymond
Alannah Barrasso
Noah   Sullivan
Thatcher Kent
Jessenia Vazquez
Tyra  Gnade
Haley  Pass
Brandon McKenna
Yasmine  Ben-Malek
Averey Flynn
Benjamin Trimble-Smith

We hope you have a great day!
Thank You to Our Donors

-           Anne Ryan
-          Richard & Karen Gauthier
-          Cathy & Lance Prichard
-          Estate of Richard Randall
-          TRUIST
-          County of Cumberland Peter Feeney Golf
-          Nappi Distributors
-          Kenneth Geiger
-          Hannaford Community Cash
-          Sandi Smith
-          Lynn Wight
-          Donna Letellier
-          MEMIC
-          James & Andrea Sinclair
-          United Way of Eastern Maine
-          Susan & William Clifford
-          Paul & Patricia Meserve
-          Arthur Black Jr. 
-          Knights of Columbus

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE!

General Announcements

-STRIVE will be closed Monday, September 4th for Labor Day.
-Our Auction invitations will be hitting your mailboxes in the next few days. Keep your eyes peeled for a postcard from us!


Kevin on the Roof Kickoff Party-  Thursday, August 30th @ Patriot Subaru
Foden Road 5K Race-   Saturday, September 9th @ Kaplan University
STRIVE U Open House- Sunday October 1st @ STRIVE U
STRIVE Auction-  Wednesday, November 8th @ Italian Heritage Center

Has your Mailing Address changed recently?
Have a new Mailing Address to add?

We are updating our mailing list, and want to make sure we have all our supporters on there. Email to send in your updated information so you will continue to receive our electronic and print newsletters!

Members, you will be asked to complete an updated information form upon arrival to tweens or STRIVE Night. Want to get a head start? Go to our website to send in your contact information today!