STRIVE News & Updates
December 1st, 2021
Image Description (ID): Gray and Blue background. PSL Services/STRIVE logo in upper left corner. Image in upper right corner- includes one male participant and one male staff looking at an ipad. Two images in lower left corner- Top image is of male STRIVE participant and former male STRIVE staff. Staff is holding a water bottle, STRIVE coffee mug, and white paper. Image below is of 3 female STRIVE staff wearing Camp STRIVE t-shirts, standing together and smiling.
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 (including weekdays, evenings, and weekends)! 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 or at 207-879-0847 x207.

Here's what's happening in our programs!
Students are wrapping up their last few weeks of the semester at SMCC and Learning Group. In Learning Group the students have been learning about the different types of personal boundaries, how to set those boundaries with themselves and with others, apartment, fire, and kitchen safety skills, communication skills, removing negative self-talk, personal hygiene, self-care, identifying needs versus wants, and identifying facts versus opinions.

We’ve been working on practicing navigating with the bus and by foot so we can access all the community has to offer! We also voted in the election on November 2nd. We enjoyed researching and learning about the election. We’re looking forward to the holidays and starting classes again next semester.
Image Description (ID): 5 STRIVE U students (3 males, 2 females), standing outside. Students are standing in front of a black fence. Green grass, trees, and a cream colored house are also in the background. a brick walkway is in front of the students. All are wearing "I voted!" stickers on their shirts/jackets.
Don't forget- the STRIVE U Application period is now open! Are you, or someone you know interested in more information about the program or application process? Contact! Act quickly, the application deadline is February 1st, 2022!
Image Description (ID): Blue background with white border. Top of flyer text reads "STRIVE U Applications now available!" Bottom of flyer text reads "Application deadline: February 1st, 2022". Center text matches newsletter article. Image in center includes STRIVE U logo and photo of 6 STRIVE U graduates (3 males and 3 females) on graduation day. Students are wearing blue graduation caps and gowns and are outside. The 3 males are standing behind the 3 females who are sitting.
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 On Giving Thanks, Celebrating Successes & Getting Social, Jobs, Money, Having Even More Fun, and Getting Healthy!
Whew, that’s a lot, but stick with us! 

GIVE THANKS We are rounding out our 2021 by asking our students, friends, and partners to tell us what they are thankful for. Did you know that expressing gratitude- the feeling of being thankful- can increase your happiness, increase our resiliency- make us bounce back faster after setbacks, increase our patience, reduce burnout, and even improve our physical health? Check out this great video that we share in our Healthy You course to learn about The Science of Gratitude then click HERE to share with us what you're thankful for!
CELEBRATE SUCCESS & GET SOCIAL This month at our Student Social on 11/30, we will recognize everyone who has completed a Competency Certificate! When you complete a course, including all of the Self-Paced Work, you have completed one of the requirements for a bigger award. Currently, there are FOUR Competency Certificates: Relationships, Safety, Employment, and Health. Join us to celebrate our students and to have some fun at our Free Student Social that is open to current, previous, and prospective STRIVE WorldWIDE students aged 16 and over. Click HERE to register.
Image Description (ID): White background with 5 boxes. Box on left hand side includes and course titles. 4 boxes in center include courses by topic (Relationship, Employment, Safety, and Health). Top right corner has STRIVE WorldWIDE logo. Bottom right corner has contact infromation for Dr. Anne Ryan.
JOBS & MONEY We are offering 2 courses in December (12/6/2021-1/9/2022): A brand New Employment Skills 101 class, which meets Tuesdays & Thursdays from 7-8 PM EST, and our Money Management course which meets Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:30-11:30 AM. Use code NEWSLETTER to get 10% of your first course.
Image Description (ID): Two images. Left side image has a blue background. Course title "Money Management" is centered at the top. Class description in center. Left bottom corner has cartoon piggy bank with coins going into top. Right bottom corner has cartoon picture of gold coins and green dollar bills. Curly arrow in between the two images. Right Image has a white background. Course title "Employment Skills with STRIVE WorldWIDE is at the top. Left side of image has course information. Right side of image has two blue cartoon characters (one male and one female). Male is sitting at desk looking at computer. Female is standing behind him holding a cell phone. Two plants in pots are under cartoon desk.
EVEN MORE (FREE) FUN & GETTING HEALTHY Please join STRIVE WorldWIDE for a Free Virtual Seminar as we kick off the new year with a healthy focus! Our Free Virtual Seminar will offer a taste of our full 5-week Healthy You course for neurodiverse learners, in which we learn about keeping ourselves healthy in our bodies, minds, and spirits! The new year can be a time for resolutions. Instead of resolutions that can be tricky to keep, we’ll set SMART goals, focus on Tiny Habits to make big changes, meet The Not Yeti, who reminds us to keep a growth mindset, and discuss how practice makes progress, not perfection. Make your own SMART Goal to attend our Free Virtual Seminar on January, 11, 2022 at 1:00, 6:00 or 8:30 PM EST or register for our full 5-week, 10-seminar, Healthy You course starting on January 17, 2022 (day and evening times available). Other topics included in the course: Nutrition, Sleep Hygiene, Gratitude, Mindfulness, and Meditation. 
Image Description (ID): Top of image has 24 small boxes with a cartoon person (males and females, varying looks) in each one. The text "You're invited" is included. Underneath is the free seminar information. In the bottom left had corner there is a cartoon person (back t0) working on a computer. There is an overhead lamp above him. The right side of the image includes course information. In the bottom right corner is a blue outline of a person sitting on the floor. Next to the person is a red circle with scissors around it.
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
November has been a great month for TOPS! The students have established relationships, incorporated more areas of responsibility and are rising to the expectations set. As we start looking ahead, students are beginning to narrow down what their next year looks like, whether it be graduation or another year of school. The students are working to identify career interests, began volunteering and spent time reflecting on people and things they are grateful for.
Image Description (ID): 6 male TOPS students and one female staff, all wearing face masks and giving a thumbs up. Standing in kitchen, behind a table. On the table is a loaf of homemade bread that they made.
Image Description (ID): Full classroom of TOPS students and staff. There are 4 tables, each with 4 students (2 sitting on each side of the table). Most students have their heads down, working on math problems. Staff are standing at each table working with the students on their assignment.
Image Description (ID): 2 male TOPS students standing next to a very large, colorful poster on the wall that says "choose to be kind" in black lettering. The poster is in the middle of the two students. In between the students is also a small round table with two chairs.
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
A little cold weather doesn’t stop Bayside participants from working hard at their goals each day. As the temperature drops while we move into the winter months, participants have been bundling up with more layers but still venturing out into the community navigating, grocery shopping, using the local library, and exploring local resources; a favorite spot is Two Fat Cats bakery. We are also excited to share that this month we began volunteering at Ronald McDonald House. There we help with housekeeping every other week to help keep a clean environment for the families who are taking care of their loved ones. We also joined in on the fun at STRIVE Studios making bowls and other creative pieces with Liz’s ceramics group.

A highlight of this month was participants cooking a Bayside Thanksgiving meal filled with delicious, mashed potatoes, corn, carrots, and of course turkey and stuffing!
Image Description (ID): Female STRIVE participant sitting down, working on ceramics.
Image Description (ID): Male and female STRIVE participants standing and holding a Ronald McDonald House Maine poster. The participants are each holding one top corner of the poster and the poster is between them.
Image Description (ID): Male STRIVE participant, outside, holding a clipboard and pointing to the cityscape behind him.
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 started 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.
Image Description (ID): Male STRIVE participant in the kitchen. He is wearing glasses, a face mask, and a bright yellow shirt. He also has earbuds hanging from his neck. He is working at the kitchen island. He is cutting vegetables (tomatoes and lettuce) on a brown cutting board. There is a jar of salsa to his right and a green bag of lettuce to the left. Behind him is the kitchen sink, wooden cupboards, and a cream colored counter that has knives in a knife block as well as a jar of cooking utensils.
Image Description (ID): 2 female STRIVE participants standing outside on a brick walkway. The participants are in front of statue on a raised garden bed, surrounded by stone. The statue is of a person ice skating. The participants are mimicking the same pose at the statue.
Image Description (ID): 3 STRIVE participants (2 female, one male) and one female staff and an indoor ice rink. All are standing on the ice and wearing ice skates on their feet. All are holding metal walkers for safety and are dressed in jackets/warm clothes.
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, ACTIVE & WAVES, please contact Emily at
Wednesday Night Educational Series
We had a great time learning about gratitude and giving back during the month of November! For our December Wednesday Night Educational Series, we will be focusing on self care. We hope you'll join us! Here is the schedule for the month:
December 1st: What is Self-Care?
December 8th: Habits, Sleep, and Nutrition
December 16th: Exercise and Movement
December 22nd: Creative Expression
December 29th: Meditation and Mindfulness
Image Description (ID): background is a foggy mountain range in gray and white. Text is in black and there is an image of arms hugging a heart on the right side.
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 look forward to seeing you during school vacations!
Image Description (ID): Camp STRIVE logo- includes blue sky and green grass with "Camp STRIVE" written in the forefront.
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. 
We are looking forward to another month of virtual Tweens with some exciting activities planned! Because of the holidays, we will only meet three times but we hope you'll join us for some fun! The December schedule is below:
December 3rd: Exploring Space
December 10th: Making Music
December 17th: Winter Wonderland
December 24th: NO TWEENS
December 31st: NO TWEENS
Image Description (ID): Gray background with sparkly, silver polka dots along the top and bottom. Text is black.. The schedule in the middle. There is a swirl above and below the schedule. Test is same as in post.
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
STRIVE Night continues to meet each Friday on Zoom. We always have so much fun together! This month, we will meet on December 3rd, December 10th, and December 17th. Our Winter Celebration theme night will be on December 17th. Join us for some fun winter themed games and activities! As a reminder, there will be no STRIVE Night on December 24th or December 31st.
Image Description (ID): Gray background with white snowflakes. There is a chain of white snowflakes along the top. Text is in black..
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
We were only able to meet one time in the month of November, but are making up for that with a busy Dec! We will meet 3 times in the month of December and two of the times we meet will be theme nights! Wear your best ugly sweater on Thursday, 12/16, and ring in the new year with us a few days early on 12/30! Hope to see you in December! Contact Alex at to join! Here is the December schedule:
December 2nd
December 16th: Ugly Sweater Party
December 30th: New Year's Party
Image Description (ID): Blue background outlined in darker blue. Text is dark blue and black. There are two snowflakes on the right, a sweater on the middle left, and 2022 with a firework on the bottom right.
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 or Alex at!
The STRIVECast had a fun month of November with many great guests! We interviewed Ethan Hipple - Director of Parks, Recreation, and Facilities Department for the City of Portland, Kathryn Sargent - Executive Director of The Locker Project, Kristen Miale - President of Good Shepard Food Bank, and Sarah Stickney - Operations Director at Portland Community Squash! It was so cool to learn about the amazing work they all do in our community! Do you have guest ideas for upcoming shows? Let us know! 
Image Description (ID): Screen shot of the STRIVECast Zoom recording (black background with eight picture squares). Includes the seven STRIVECast team members 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!
Thank you to our November Donors!

Hutchins Trucking Co
Paul Klemt
Margaret and Craig Wilson
Marjorie Murray
Fraternal Order of the Eagles #4131
Nola Fennessy
Leah Ledoux and Maximilian Cavalli
Bonita Betters-Reed and Gary Reed
Erin and Michael Soucy
Mary Beth Malone
United Way of Midcoast Maine Inc.
The Makrides Family
William and Lorraine Berry
Jeanne Fernald- In Memory of Lindsey Allard
Peter Lawrence
Marc Lamontagne
Ellen McMonagle
Teamsters Local Union No. 340
Allan McHale
Kevin and Susan Plunkett- In Memory of Adelaide Scribner
Diane McVey
J. Clarence Madore/Rita Madore
Patricia Kurowski
Henry and Monica Recknagel
Cynthia and Lawrence Vaughan
Patrick Callaghan
Alice Evans
Gillian and Brian Ballute
Francesca Eastman
Erica Schwarz
Theresa Brown- In Memory of Russell F. Leo
Emily Werner
Samantha Leavitt
Pamela Wildes
Richard and Barbara Wigton
Kayla Mirabella
Fran Greslick
Michael and Lynn Spadinger
Maine Trust for People With Disabilities, Inc.
BlueWave Solar
Steff Deschenes
Fullscope RMS
Steph Sinclair
Sam McHale- In Honor of Kate McHale
Dean Bullard

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 December!
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."

Alex York
Ashley Bowers
Jacob Hill
Shania Smith
Ivan Scheloske
Vitality Chan
Kaleb Divney
Victoria Felt
John Mancini
River Cummings

Member Spotlight
Image Description (ID): Photo of Member Spotlight, Ezequiel. Ezequiel is in the woods, knealing on a large rock in front of a tree. Ezequiel is wearing glasses, a black shirt, and jeans and is smiling with his mouth closed.

Meet Ezequiel! Ezequiel has been attending our virtual STRIVE Nights all the way from California! His favorite thing about STRIVE Night is “when I get to talk to my friends and doing Karaoke” We’re so glad you’ve been able to join us over Zoom, Ezequiel!
Staff Spotlight
Meet Josh! Josh is a student at the University of Southern Maine and has been interning with STRIVE since the beginning of September! While at STRIVE, Josh has been involved in our community supports program and also participates in STRIVE Night each week. Josh is a professional photographer and a portion of his work with us has been running weekly photography groups for our ACTIVE participants. When we asked Josh what his favorite thing about STRIVE was, he said: "My favorite part of STRIVE is the sense of community and support shared between everybody. I feel so fortunate to be able to connect with so many people and spend time making sure participants are not only having fun, but getting the most out of their STRIVE experience." Josh will be at STRIVE until mid-December. Be sure to say hi if you haven't already! It's been great working with you, Josh!
Image Description (ID): Photo of Staff Spotlight, Josh. He is in front of a grey background and is smiling.
General Announcements
Share the Love with Patriot Subaru and STRIVE!

STRIVE has been selected as one of the beneficiaries of Patriot Subaru's Share The Love campaign! Now through January 3rd, $300 from every new car sold at Patriot Subaru (and $3 from every routine service) can support STRIVE through Patriot Subaru's Share The Love campaign! Looking for a new car? Visit Patriot at 769 Portland Road in Saco, Maine!
Image Description (ID): Light blue flyer with line drawing of car. Includes Patriot Subaru and STRIVE logos and text matches newsletter
3 Points for STRIVE
The Maine Celtics and Hammond Lumber Company are teaming up again for 3 Points for STRIVE!

Each time the Maine Celtics score a three-pointer at a home game, Hammond Lumber Company will donate $50. Help grow their donation by making your own pledge!

There are two ways that you can help:
1. Make a one time donation: You can send your donation to the STRIVE program any time. Checks can be made out to STRIVE and sent to 28 Foden Road, South Portland, ME 04106.
2. Make a per "3 Point" pledge: For example, if you pledge $.10 per 3 pointer and there are 1,000 total 3 pointers during the season, your total pledge would be $100. You will be invoiced in May after the Maine Celtics season is over and the total amount of 3 pointers have been calculated.

Download your own pledge card HERE or contact Whitney at!
Image Description (ID): Gray flyer with green border. In the top left there is an image of a basketball going through a basketball net. Text reads same as newsletter article. Bottom of the flyer has Hammond Lumber Company, STRIVE, and the Maine Celtics logos.
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 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! 
Image Description (ID): white background with two rows of swag. Top row from left to right is a backpack, a mug, a t-shirt, and a baseball hat. Bottom row from left to right is a tote bag, a sweatshirt, and a travel mug.