STRIVE News & Updates
February 1st, 2022
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!
STRIVE U applications due TODAY, February 1st! The STRIVE U application deadline for the class of 2024 is here! All completed STRIVE U applications must be received in the admissions office by 4pm (EST) TODAY! Questions? Contact!
Image Description: STRIVE U logo on blue background. Includes, STRIVE U logo, cartoon image of stacked books with a graduation cap on the top, and contact information for the admissions team.
STRIVE U is looking for companies of all sizes to help meet staffing needs. This will help provide students with vital work experience to help ensure independence beyond graduation! Contact Kiana at with any questions or to request to hire!
Image Description: The top of the flyer is light blue and says "STRIVE U Employment". The remainder background color is teal.. On the left side is a photo of seven STRIVE U graduates in caps and gowns, On the bottom is the STRIVE logo and contact information.
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 Is Truly WorldWIDE! And a BIG WELCOME To Our Newest STRIVE WorldWIDE Team Member!
The STRIVE WorldWIDE Team kicked off the new year by offering a free virtual Healthy You seminar. We had people sign up from 42 states in the United States, and 7 different countries. We truly are worldwide!
Please welcome our newest STRIVE WorldWIDE instructor, Marie Elizabeth! Marie co-teaches with Sara Brown during our day sections. Her background is in education, case management, and crisis intervention. She has a passion for teaching life skills and has been a wonderful addition to our team!
Come learn with us! Check out our course catalog here
Image Description (ID): 6 circles, each with a picture of STRIVE WorldWIDE staff. Below is information about last month's virtual seminar with a picture of the United States and other parts of the world. Areas where students attend from are colored in different shades of blue.
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
TOPS students are entering the second half of their school year which is always a wonderful time to witness. The program is busier than ever with students showing off their independence throughout the day, completing their responsibilities.

Our group practiced Winter Weather Walking, experienced a full restaurant role-play scenario right here in the classroom, tried some new group fitness classes and refreshed on hygiene basics. A handful of our students got to try out some public speaking practice, relating it back to self-advocacy and gained confidence speaking to their peers. The 1st session students continue to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House each week, practicing their job readiness skills! Looking ahead, we are excited to welcome in prospective students for our 2022-2023 class in the upcoming months!
ID: TOPS students (4) practicing "winter weather walking" outside. Students are dressed in winter jackets, hats, and face masks.
ID: TOPS students (5) doing Zumba inside the TOPS classroom. All are wearing exercise clothes and face masks.
ID: TOPS students (3) and staff shopping for personal hygiene products. Students and staff are dressed in winter clothes and face masks and are holding up mouthwash and deodorant in their picture.
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
Bayside didn’t let the freezing temperatures and occasional snowstorm stop them from getting out in the community each day to work on goals. Even when it dropped below zero, we bundled up and braved the cold to venture down to get groceries, go to the bank, check out new books at the library, and twice per month help the residents at Ronald McDonald House by keeping their building clean and sanitized.

We are excited to welcome a new participant this month, Arianna, who has jumped right in with the rest of group! The other participants have been showing her the ropes. We are excited to have you with us Arianna!

We still find fun adventures to go on every Friday and we are excited to add new spots to our list like playing squash and checking out more local eateries for yummy take out. Things have been heating up in the kitchen with our newly gifted air fryer. Participants have tried baked potatoes, chicken fingers, and English muffin pizzas in the cool, new, kitchen device. Every day is a new challenge and Bayside participants are always up for the challenge and support one another in the kitchen, in the library, and all throughout the community.
Image Description (ID): Two Bayside participants outside but the "Drive Thru ATM" sign at Bangor Savings Bank. Both are in jackets, winter hats, and mittens.
Image Description (ID): A group of 4 Bayside participants standing outside of restaurant "Black Cow". Participants are on the bring sidewalk, wearing winter gear.
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. 
Welcome to 2022! We have been able to learn an exciting new game here in the ACTIVE program! Each week, the participants have been going to the community center to play squash. What’s squash? Well let me tell you about squash. It’s a fast moving racket sport and can be played with 2 to 4 people. The game is played in a four-walled court, with a small rubber ball. Here is a little history about squash- the first squash game ever played was in the 19th century, England, United Kingdom.

Some other ways we have been staying active this winter, is getting to go out in the community to go snow shoeing on the many lovely trails we have here in the beautiful state of Maine! With us continuing to get out in the community every day, we have to know how to keep ourselves safe. With that being said, here are some of the things we have been learning- we are learning how to get on the bus safely by learning how to navigate our route before going on the bus and also learning how it is important to look both ways and listen before crossing the road. Some other fun activities we get to enjoy in program is ice skating, dancing, and going to STRIVE studios, where we get create some amazing art, and learn how to sew! It has been an exciting start to the New Year!
On the virtual side of our program, we started the New Year celebrating all the good times we had in 2021 and what adventures we are looking forward to in the New Year! We are learning how to create some amazing recipes in our healthy eating group. We are learning how to explore our community safely in our navigation group. We are continuing to learn how to take great photos in our photography group. Even though we are home, there are great ways to still be active! We have dance group every Wednesday and get to go on virtual walks each week! To end a great week we are still being able to explore different places around the world in our field trip Friday group! 
ID: A male participant paling squash on an indoor court.
ID: A group of STRIVE participants and staff (a group of 8) at the bowling alley. All are wearing masks. A male participant in the front row is holding a bowling pin.
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, ACTIVE & WAVES, please contact Emily at
Wednesday Night Educational Series
We learned all about food groups, our taste buds, meal planning and grocery shopping during January Wednesday Night Education classes! We're excited to continue learning about how food affects our moods, safety in the kitchen, and to share some recipes with each other as our Health & Nutrition series continues through February!
Image Description: Green background with polka dots. Text is in black with the class schedule in the middle. On the top right is a heart made from a variety of fruits and vegetables. Across the bottom, are four images of foods.. The first image is a plate of spaghetti and meatballs; the second image is a green salad with onions, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers; the third image is pizza with pepperoni; and the fourth image is an avocado cut in half.
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 will not be holding Camp STRIVE during February vacation.

We hope to see you in April!
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 exciting month of Tweens! We hope you'll join us for some fun virtual activities in February! We always have a great time!
February 4th: All about Animals
February 11: Step by Step Drawings
February 18th: Let's Get Active!
February 25th: Game Night

We've also 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: white background with large pink circles in the top right and bottom left corners and large light brown circles in the top left and bottom right corners. The light brown circles have white flowers inside them. There are white, pink, and brown polka dots throughout the image.. The center has black text that states the program, time, dates, and contact information. .
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 every Friday on Zoom! We've welcomed some new faces over the past month and we've enjoyed singing karaoke and playing a few rounds of bingo all together! In January, we were excited to welcome new members to our STRIVE Night Advisory Board! The Board is hard at work planning our February theme night! We will celebrate Valentine's Day February 11th!

We've also updated our STRIVE Night membership forms and are asking all new and current STRIVE Night members to fill out an updated version. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description: Blue background with circular designs of dark blue, yellow, purple, and teal shapes in each corner. The center has white and yellow text that states the program, time, dates, and contact information. .
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 continues to be lots of fun in 2022! After celebrating the new year together at the end of December, we met two additional times during the month of January! We continue to welcome new members each time we meet. Everyone is becoming fast friends! We've learned a lot about each other during our "check-in question", continue to entertain each other with karaoke, and get a tad bit competitive during a few rounds of bingo....all in good fun of course! We are excited for all that's in store this month when we meet on February 10th and 24th. Hope to see you then!

We've also updated our STRIVE 25 membership forms and are asking all new and current STRIVE 25 members to fill out an updated version. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description: Purple background with light blue, white, and pink shapes at the top and the bottom of the flyer. The center has text that states the program, time, dates, and contact information.
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 spoke with some great guests in January! We interviewed Kelly and Karen Neville - founders of Special Sparkle, Scott Taylor - highest bidder in STRIVE's Annual Auction, Paul Drinan - Executive Director of Friends of Fort Gorges, and Allison Fogarty - founder and CEO of Doggy Delights by Allison! We hope you enjoyed these conversations as much as we did! Do you have any guest ideas for upcoming shows? Let us know!
Image Description (ID): Screen shot of the STRIVECast Zoom recording. Black background with eight picture squares. The bottom right square has two people in it.
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 January Donors!

Wendy Bush
Mary Anne Fillyaw
Shoresh Foundation
Gregg Ginn
Gerald and Maureen Sullivan
Lisa Flynn- On Behalf of Emily's Designs
Rachel Morin- In Honor of Emma Campbell
Jennifer Rooks and Michael Moran
Flatbread Co.
Forage Market
Kate Vaughan
Todd Alexander
Knights of Columbus, Windham
Hauser Packaging, Inc.
Samantha Leavitt
Michael Prior
Barry Dunlap- In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
Harold and Peggy Osher
United Way of Mid Coast Maine, Inc.
Brian and Maria Segal
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 February!
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."

Kevin Banks
Paris Nalevansky
Justin Browne
Sean Lewis
Nick Hubel
Andrew Deschambault
Nate Hall
Andrew Michaud
Zachary Khron 
Jessica Luciano 
Nick Cusano
Arianna Bulger
Caleb Hanmer
Lucy Pedersen
Member Spotlight

Image Description (ID): Photo of member spotlight, Jaheim. Jaheim is wearing a blue shirt with a white pattern and tan pants. He is standing outside

Meet Jaheim! Jaheim attends our virtual STRIVE Nights and was just elected Treasurer of the STRIVE Night Advisory Board! His favorite thing about STRIVE is "meeting new people". Congratulations on your new position, Jaheim! We're glad to have you join us on Zoom!
Staff Spotlight

Meet Kiana! Kiana is our new STRIVE U Employment Coordinator! Her favorite thing about STRIVE is "Everyone is here to make sure that the people we are working for and with succeed. We all have the same mindset that we can make the community stronger and a better place for everyone when we all support each other. I am so thankful to be able to work in such a positive environment with likeminded people!" We're so thankful to have you, Kiana!
Image Description (ID): Photo of staff spotlight, Kiana. Kiana is wearing a black coat and has a ski helmet and ski goggles on her head.. She is outside in the snow.
General Announcements
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 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.