STRIVE News & Updates
January 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!
The STRIVE U Application period is still 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.
We will be holding a virtual open house, Wednesday, January 12th at 9am (EST). Learn about the program, admissions requirements, see a virtual tour and have the opportunity to ask questions! RSVP at for your link to join! The admissions team is also happy to present to your classroom or team. Let us know if you are interested!
Image Description: Blue flyer with STRIVE U logo in top left corner and text "STRIVE U Virtual Open House" in top right corner. Middle of flyer reads the same as newsletter article. 3 photos on the bottom of the flyer include (picture 1) STRIVE U students on 2020 move in day, (picture 2) 6 STRIVE U graduates in caps and gowns, and (picture 3) STRIVE students outside this summer.
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 hasn’t slowed down at all for this busy Winter season. We’re in the middle of two courses from our Employment Certificate: Employment Skills 101 and Money Management. Our Competency Certificates are awarded as students finish sets of classes relating to main areas of independence: Safety, Relationships, Health and Employment. We recently presented 14 certificates to 10 students. Congratulations to Brendan, Hannah, Jada, Kay, Matthew, Von, Amanda, Jessica, Tim, and Shelly. As we develop and offer more courses, we’ll offer more Competency Certificates as well. 

We’re also preparing for our Free Virtual Seminar coming up on 1/11/22! This is a fun, annual event; this year our topic is Healthy You! We’ll discuss goal setting with SMART goals and Tiny Habits and meet the Not Yeti, who reminds us to keep a growth mindset- practice makes progress, not perfection. Registration is FREE and still open- click here to join nearly 200 attendees from seven countries!
Image Description: 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
December flew by for our TOPS students! Our program runs on a school schedule which means our group gets a long break for the holidays. In December, we collectively volunteered for 27 hours, learned how to wrap presents, increased our budgeting skills and made over 600 cookies! 

Each student maintains a classroom bank account where they manage income from completing their classroom job and expenses in their daily activities. Students use their earned money to pay for groceries, gifts, leisure activities or other items during class time. In TOPS, this is called our classroom economy. Students are able to earn bonuses throughout their week and get sick pay if they call out on their own when they are absent. As we continue this throughout the school year we will add monthly bills and an emergency fund for students to practice saving. 
Image Description: Male participant mopping the wood floor in a kitchen.
Image Description: 3 male participants making cookies in the kitchen.
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
It’s been a busy month here at Bayside. Participants brought out the winter boots and coats to navigate downtown Portland in the chilly winter weather. The cold has not stopped them as they continue to work hard on goals, trekking to the bank, grocery store, and the library each week. In the colder weather, it’s always nice to have a nice warm casserole and a few participants tried their hands at making a tater tot casserole packed with chicken and veggies of their choice.

A theme for this month has been thankfulness and everyday participants came in and wrote down different notes of gratitude (check out our gratitude wall!). We also made sure to make thank you cards for some very generous Strive community members who donated kitchen supplies.

We are thankful that there are fun opportunities to check out on adventure days like bowling at Westport Bowling Lanes and local bakeries with yummy treats. Participants all took part in planning a fun holiday celebration where they make their own personal pizzas and play a challenging game of holiday-themed charades. Everyone here at Bayside wishes the Strive community happy holidays and a happy and healthy new year.
Image Description: Female participant decorating a Christmas tree.
Image Description: Male participant sitting at a table holding up a homemade thank you card.
Image Description: 2 male participants and one female staff making cookies in the kitchen.
Image Description: Female and male participant sitting on chairs. Behind them is their "gratitude wall" which has notes of what they are thankful for.
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. 
The winter season has arrived! That means we pulled out our winter coats, hats, gloves, scarfs, and boots! We have started the winter season off by going ice staking each week at the Falmouth Ice Arena, where we are learning how to ice skate with our new friends! Some of the other fun winter activity that we get to enjoy is going snow shoeing and snow tubing! The cold does not stop us from continuing our weekly hikes outside. Also for the holiday season we have enjoyed going to see the lights up in Freeport!

We are still going out and volunteering in our community. One of the places we volunteer at is Partners for World Health. They are a great organization that collects medical supplies that are not being used here in the United States and shipping those supplies to countries that are in need. One of the jobs that we help out with is sorting through the supplies and putting them into different bins. These bins will get packed up and shipped out to countries around the world. One week while sorting through the supplies we found a wedding ring! We gave it to a staff member and they put the word out on social media. It took a couple of weeks but they found the owner and the ring was returned! We also got to load one the trucks with the bins that we packed. It was great to see a different side of the company!

For our indoor activities we are keeping busy with cooking, art, dance, and learning how to advocate for ourselves. In our cooking groups we are learning how to create delicious winter recipes to share with our friends! In art we are learning how to create fun winter sculptures in our ceramics group. And every Wednesday we are still getting our groove on at dance! It has been a busy month with all our new activities but we like busy here at STRIVE!

On Zoom, we are learning how to navigate our community by exploring with google earth and also working on how to take amazing pictures with our smart phones and cameras! We are still joining our on-site peers with dance every Wednesday. We are learning how it’s important to take care of ourselves in our self-care group. We are also learning how things are being made like Christmas trees and ornaments in our how it’s made group. We also get to have fun at the end of the week by getting together and playing some holiday games and learning how to create amazing art! 
Image Description: 3 male participants and one female staff, smiling together (with masks) at their volunteer site,
Partners for World Health.
Image Description: Male participant wearing glasses and mask, holding holiday art project made from fabric.
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, ACTIVE & WAVES, please contact Emily at
Wednesday Night Educational Series
After finishing up a relaxing Self-Care series in December, we are ready to tackle the new year in our Wednesday Night Educational Classes! In January and February, we will be focusing on health and nutrition. It is a two month series so total cost is $30. We hope you'll join us to learn all about nutrition, meal planning, grocery shopping, food/kitchen safety, and how food affects our moods!
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 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 a brand new year of Tweens! Our virtual January Tweens kicks off with some with some exciting activities! We hope you'll join us!
January 7th: Virtual Field Trip
January 14th: Game Night
January 21st: Let It Snow
January 28th: Making Music
Image Description: Blue background with pink, blue, and white sparkles out of focus. Text is in black with the monthly schedule in the middle of the flyer..
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 and we always have so much fun together! In January, we get to meet every Friday - yay! On Friday, January 28th, we will be hosting a STRIVE Night Talent Show. We can't wait to see everyone's amazing talents!
Image Description: White background with small silver and gold stars around the outside of the text. There are red curtains hanging from the top left and top right.. Text is in gold. On the bottom left is a silver image of a person singing into a microphone and musical notes.
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
As always, December's STRIVE 25s were full of laughs and fun. We celebrated the holidays by holding 2 theme nights- an ugly sweater party and a new year's party! We've welcomed many new faces to STRIVE 25 and continue to grow with each week. This month, we will be together on January 13th and 27th. Interested in joining in on the fun? Contact Alex!
Image Description: Blue background with white border of trees. There is a white snowflake in the top middle surrounded by the words "Virtual STRIVE 25", two circles with stars, and polka dots. Text is in white.
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 had a fun month of December with some great guests! We interviewed Jeana Roth - Director of Community Engagement with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, Ray Richard and Sue Wall - President and Treasurer of Portland Wheelers, and April Kalde - Volunteer Coordinator at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore! We also got together as a STRIVECast team and talked about our highlights from the past year and our resolutions for 2022! Do you have guest ideas for upcoming shows? Let us know! 
Image Description (ID): Screen shot of the STRIVECast Zoom recording (black background with nine picture squares). Includes the seven STRIVECast team members and two guests.
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 December Donors!

Diane Boas and Barry Schklair
Hutchins Trucking Co.
Barry Dunlap- In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
Jackie Markey
Sherman Family Foundation
Gordon and Laurie Oliver
Constance Ostis
The Goranites Family
Athena Day
William Taplin
Cynthia and David Barnard
Linda and John Joyce
Gregory and Lorraine Cyr
Pape Chevrolet
John Palmer
Arthur Batson Jr
Bob and Anne Vaughan
Cynthia Oldfield
Carol Eisenberg- In Honor of Bridget Parker
James Sinclair- In Honor of Stephanie Sinclair
Janet Fillmore- In Honor of Julie, Bill and Sarah Mariski
Gerri Bridgman
Shoshana Bannett- In Memory of Jacob Shapell
Kayla Mirabella
Patricia Rolfson- In Honor of Kate and Tom Rolfson
JAM3 Engineering
Rick and Dianne Baietti
The Honorable John McKernan, Jr. & Honorable Olympia Snowe
Hartley and Benson Webster
Jeff and Susie Saffer
Andrew and Nancy Wickwire
Samantha Leavitt
Ted West
The Makrides Family

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 January!
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."
Emily Murray
Brittany Bean
Owen Wolterbeck
Jordan Young
Sumner Ellis
Nicholas Cataldo
Nathaniel Rines
Peter Tarling
Leeann Brionez
Marshall Noyes
Kelly Mberaba
Jacob Benvie
Thomas Hartnott
Samantha Mueller
Lindsey Foster
Destiny Lemine
Ryan O'Donovan
Cera Ann Lane
Kayla Haggett
Benjamin Beisswanger 

Member Spotlight

Image Description:: Photo of Member Spotlight, Autumn. Autumn is wearing a white sweatshirt and has a blue and black headband on. Autumn is smiling at the camera.

Meet Autumn! Autumn joined us in December and attends Wednesday Night Educational Classes and STRIVE Nights! Her favorite thing about STRIVE is “making new friends,, especially that they make her laugh" We’re so glad you’ve joined us, Autumn!
Staff Spotlight

Meet Jules! Jules is our Administrative Program Leader at PSL Services/STRIVE. She works in our home supports and community supports programs! You can also see her on Zoom on Friday nights at our Tweens and STRIVE Night Socials! Her favorite thing about STRIVE "is that every day is a new adventure." We're so thankful to have you, Jules!
Image Description:: Photo of Staff Spotlight, Jules. Jules is wearing a black shirt with a yellow and black sunflower pin on the front left and a gold circular necklace. Her hair is down and she is looking at the camera.
General Announcements
Share the Love with Patriot Subaru and STRIVE!

There's a few days left of Patriot Subaru's Share the Love event!

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 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.