PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

February 1st, 2017
STRIVE U Application Deadline- Today!

Today is the final day to submit an application to STRIVE U, our nationally-recognized post-secondary education program for people with developmental disabilities. Applications will be accepted until 4pm today.

STRIVE U provides post-secondary education and training to young adults with developmental disabilities in the realms of residential, employment, and community skills with the goal of enabling its graduates to live and work as full community members with maximum independence, productivity, and dignity.

STRIVE U is a comprehensive program aimed at teaching its students necessary skills to live independently in the community. STRIVE U is founded on four main program areas- Community Living- Living in an apartment with a roommate, Employment- learning valuable job skills through paid work experiences, Post-Secondary Education- Through a certificate program with  Kaplan University, and finally transition- assuring the transition from STRIVE U into the community is successful and meaningful.  If you would like more information on STRIVE U and/or would like to schedule a campus tour, please contact Bill Hughes at (207) 774-6278 ext. 210 or e-mail .
STRIVE Rocks 2018

STRIVE Rocks 2018 is almost here!  STRIVE Rocks Weekend is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Held at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, this 24+ hour event helps raise money to fund our programs for an entire year. We're hoping to make this year our best and biggest yet, and raise $100,000! This year STRIVE Rocks will be March 24th-25th, with STRIVE Rocks All Day running 10am-6pm and All Night from 8pm-8am. 

Get your school group on board! The grand prize for the highest fundraising school group is a private pizza party at Get Air Trampoline Park in Portland! Contact Olivia at for more info on school group participation.

For more information on this two-part event, or to register yourself or your team, visit, or follow our facebook pages for more updates:
STRIVE Rocks All Day: Click Here!
STRIVE Rocks All Night:  Click Here!

Wanted: Employment Partners!

STRIVE is looking for employment partners! Our STRIVE U students are looking for part time (6-12 hours a week) employment opportunities. We'd love to add you to our network of community partners. If you have a project that's not getting done, or a part time position open- let us help! 

We are looking for any contacts that you or someone you know might have with local companies or business. Employment is one of the 4 big components of the STRIVE U program.
STRIVE U partners with local companies of all sizes to help meet there administrative and temporary staffing needs. This helps provide the students with vital business/work experiences to help complement their studies and ensure their independence beyond graduation! 
Some examples of where our students have successfully worked are in law firms, banks, insurance agencies and other professional fields. Students have helped with general data entry, filing, copying, scanning, mailings, office organization, and many other areas. For more information or to be added to our employment partner list, please contact STRIVE U Employment Coordinator Carley Williams at, or call 207-774-6278.


STRIVE 25's February social is TONIGHT from 6-8pm! Join us for pizza and salad (thanks to our superstar volunteer, Mary V!), music, dancing and games!

STRIVE 25 is a social event for people ages 25 and older. We run the first Thursday of every month from 6-8pm. The cost is $10 and includes dinner, and anyone 25 and older is welcome!  Please contact Caroline Cole at (or at 207-774-6278) with any questions or for more information.
Next Step

A very important aspect of the Next STEP program is volunteering and giving back to the community. Over the years, Next STEP has been involved in a number of different volunteer sites. Currently, we are volunteering at the Maine Audubon and Animal Refuge League. At Maine Audubon, we help by cleaning and organizing the Discovering Room. The Discovering Room provides a hands-on opportunity for visitors to explore different aspects of Maine nature. At the Animal Refuge League, we help by going in the cat room to play with the cats or just petting them and holding them.  Research has shown that cats that have had opportunities to socialize like what we provide are more successful in their placements.
Volunteering is rewarding and a great opportunity to learn work-related skills.  Work-related skills that we are acquiring through our volunteering include: getting to a job on time, following directions, learning to work in a professional environment, and dressing appropriately. Employers have told us that volunteering looks great on our resumes. Additionally, volunteering is a great opportunity for us to get out in the community and meet new people!

Next STEP is a great option offering a quality experience 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. 

Our students have been busy this month planning a Transition Fair!  Each student took on a different piece of the planning including roles in marketing, videographer, outreach, vendor research and donations.  The project started after a need for students to complete a Capstone Project in order to graduate.  The group decided to focus on a need that was relevant to their lives and would give back to others going through this transition.
The Transition Fair will be held at PATHS (196 Allen Ave, Portland) on February 13th from 3pm-7pm.  The fair is designed to provide resources for high school students with disabilities who are transitioning, their families and school staff.  The fair will have vendors who serve young adults with disabilities.  If you are interested in being a vendor at the fair, please reach out to Kelly Frey,  

Interested in TOPS? TOPS, Transition Outcomes Program for Students, provides transition programing for high school students in their 13th and 14th school years from area school districts. For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison, .  

This month at Bayside we worked hard on our goals and paid special attention to food safety.  We made sure to clean out our fridge every Friday.  We got rid of any leftovers that had been in the fridge for a week or longer and we checked the use by dates on everything else.  During learning group we focused on winter safety and learned how to dress for the weather.  We added a column to our Bayside chart for winter clothing and if a student brings in a hat, gloves, boots and a jacket they receive another check to go towards the monthly VIP.  We learned that even though it is winter it is really important to wear sunblock on sunny days and to stay hydrated.  We also learned about the symptoms of hypothermia and frost bite in order to keep ourselves safe while navigating the community in the winter.  We continued to work on bussing and we planned some trips on the bus. The afternoon group combined their knowledge of bussing and winter safety and took the number 4 bus to Baxter Woods! They walked through the woods to Black Cat Coffee to get some hot chocolate, and then caught the 9B  bus back to Bayside. It was a fun trip! 

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 STRIVE U students are transitioning back into their routines on campus after a busy holiday season. The students started a new semester at Kaplan University and are eager to begin learning from their professors. The second year students are particularly excited to begin to work on their second year presentations. Second year presentations are a project that students work on throughout their last semester at Kaplan. It allows them to have an opportunity to show what they have learned throughout their two years in the program. They discuss what they learned during their residential goals, community activities, employment opportunities and more. Most students use Power Points to show this information, which they have become very familiar with through their Kaplan classes. The second year presentations are scheduled for May 22nd starting at 6:00 pm at the Kaplan/Perdue Lewiston campus. 

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 .

We've had a great month for STRIVE Night! This month we had some amazing volunteers from a group called Take Action Portland put on a Star Wars theme night for us! We had so much fun dancing, taking pictures in the 'hyperspace' photobooth, and enjoying some Star Wars themed treats. We are really grateful to the folks from TAP who came and put in so much hard work to make our night so successful.

This month we'll be having TWO theme nights! Tomorrow we'll be having a Super Bowl party to get ready for Super Bowl Sunday, and on February 16th we'll have our annual Valentine's Day Dance! We are so excited.

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!  STRIVE Night is every Friday from  6-9pm. For more information, contact Olivia at 


The Tweens had a great month of January! We loved having a scavenger hunt, making trail mmix, and doing some watercolor paintings. We are looking forward to another fun month in February. Check out what we've got going on this month!


Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new skills and friendships for 11-14 year olds with developmental disabilities. For more information, contact Alex at

Wednesday Night Educational Series

The Stress Relievers series was very relaxing last month! The highlights of the series featured yoga from Creating Space Yoga and a guided painting night. We capped it off with a presentation from Waggin Tailz, who brought in some cute puppies! 

This month we will start the next series, Independent Living. The cost of this class will be $30. For more information on our Wednesday Night Ed, please contact Alex at!

February Break is just around the corner! We will be offering Camp STRIVE during the public school February vacation week from Tuesday February 20th-Friday February 23rd. The schedule will be sent out in the coming days. For more info, to register a camper, or to be on the Camp STRIVE email list, please contact Olivia at

After School

After School has had a great month of January! We've settled into our new room in the 'upstairs' portion of our building- giving us much more room to do all of our activities and hang out together! We've restructured our schedule a bit so now each day has a theme that we follow. Mondays is our library day, and we love checking out old favorites as well as exploring new ones. After School is looking for some volunteers to come help out and facilitate some activities for us! If you're interested in volunteering please contact Olivia at

STRIVE's After School Program provides an opportunity for students to participate in an engaging extension of their typical school day that reflects their individual, family and school goals. During each afternoon, students work on skills that support self-determination and independence, as well as spending time socializing with peers in a relaxed environment. After School runs Monday through Friday from 2pm-5pm during each student's respective school district schedule. For more information on After School, contact Olivia at

STRIVE Rocks Committee

STRIVE Rocks is just around the corner, and we're so excited! This event doesn't just come together because of the team at STRIVE, though. We have a committee with STRIVE staff, volunteers, high school students and STRIVE members who all come together to help plan exactly what the event should look like! We're excited to introduce a virtual option to be a part of the committee- if you can't make it in person, we will be able to video conference you in via Google Hangouts - as well as document our ideas via a Google Doc that you can share and edit. Are you and your friends excited about STRIVE Rocks and want to have a voice in how the event gets shaped? We'd love to have you- contact Whitney at to sign up!

Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!

We hope you have a great day!

Alexander Kane
Deanna Kelly
Alexander Cormier
Consta Grenade
Jonathan Keeley
Candace Johnson
Kevin Banks
Paris Nalevansky
Justin Douglas Browne
Sean Lewis
Nick Hubel
Rebekah Kropp
Andrew Scott Ryan Deschambault
Nate Hall
Andrew Michaud
Zachary Krohn
Jessica Luciano
Dominic-Anthony (Nick) Cusano
Austin Rice
Brittany Williams
Joshua Monk
Shane Saucier
Emma Campbell
Harrison Snyder
Tricia Penney
Lucy Pedersen
Caleb Hanmer

Thank You to Our Donors

- Hartley & Benson Webster
- Shoshana Bannett in Memory of Jake Shapell
- David Christensen
- Carol Niles
- Marjorie Twombly
- Paul Campbell in Honor of Ryan Barnes
- Stephanie Jaynes
- Erin & Joshua Chase
- Jeff & Susie Saffer
- Joan & Denise Palmer
- John McKernan & Olympia Snowe
- Shoresh Foundation in Memory of Jacob Shapell
- Lebel & Harriman
- Marston & Karen Lovell
- Janet Francis in Honor of Sally Alexander
- Loma & Marlene Bell in Memory of Patricia Bell
- Capital Services
- David & Diane Rivard
- Jean & Donald Nicholas in Memory of Patricia Bell
- Priscilla Howard in Memory of Patricia Bell
- Anthony Russo in Memory of Patricia Bell
- Michael & Kelli Dubose
- Nancy Campbell Realtor
- Kathleen & Michael Bouchard
- David & Catherine Crockett
- Ellen McMonagle
- Karen Johnson
- Kathleen Shevenell
- Scott Morrissette
-Christopher Lynch
-Patricia Lewis

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE!

General Announcements


-We're Hiring! Check out our open positions: .

-STRIVE will be CLOSED Monday, February 19th for President's Day.

-Visit us at the Maine Mall during February Vacation week! We will be promoting STRIVE Rocks at the mall from February 17th through February 24th. Come say hello and play some games with us!

-We are looking for volunteers! If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering in our programs or at STRIVE Rocks, please contact Whitney at

STRIVE U Application Deadline- TODAY, February 1, 4pm
STRIVE 25- TONIGHT, February 1, 6-8pm
Camp STRIVE- February 20-23
STRIVE Rocks 2018- March 23 & 24 2018

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!