STRIVE News & Updates
July 1st, 2021
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! During the month of July, 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!
June was a busy and exciting month for Strive U! We said congratulations to the class of 2021 and the very next day welcomed the class of 2023.

We celebrated the accomplishments of Lucas, Matt, Kevin, Siobhan and Taylor. Students shared speeches talking about their time at Strive U, favorite memories and words of advice for the remaining students. the students worked incredibly hard these past three years, we are so proud of all they’ve accomplished and wish them the best of luck in all future endeavors.

The next day we welcomed Matt, Von, Isaac, Hassen, Andy, Hannah and Lynn to campus. Move in day can be hot and hectic but staff and students alike did a fantastic job of quickly and flawlessly moving everyone into their new apartments. We followed move in with the infamous staff vs students basketball game and then had a BBQ to cap off the day. For the next two weeks the new students will be participating in orientation where they’ll learn about their SU schedules, goals, navigating Portland, each other and much much more.
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 Olivia Fraioli, STRIVE U Admissions Coordinator at or call (207) 774-6278.
Are you struggling to adjust to the new pace of your calendar as the world slowly opens back up? Or do you find yourself missing appointments and procrastinating? If you or someone you know wants to be better at managing their time, register now for our online Time Management & Organization class which starts August 2, 2021! Or for more information, reach out to Anne Ryan at
And a big thank you to the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation for their generous support of STRIVE WorldWIDE!
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
After Graduation, TOPS wrapped up their 6th school year with just a few returning students. The TOPS Program follows a typical school-year calendar, breaking for a few weeks in the summer before offering a 6-week Extended School Year (ESY) Program. This summer, TOPS will be welcoming in 20 students for ESY; 12 new and 8 returning, joining us from 8 different school districts!  TOPS relocated last school year to our Central office on Darling Ave where they will continue to be for this school year.
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
What a great month this has turned out to be! First, what a start to the summer with all this warm weather we are having. Second, we received the news we have been hoping for. On July 19th, we will be returning to Bayside Towers on Cumberland Ave for our program. We are very excited to be resuming the pre-COVID activities and resources.

Lastly, some of our participants graduated this month. As always, it is bittersweet to see our participants move on to a new chapter in their lives. While we are proud of their accomplishment, we will truly miss each of them. Some of them have been in our program for 3 years, so the challenges presented by the Pandemic forced them out of their zone and caused them to adapt to new learning and social skills. Congratulations Matt, Jordan, and Yazmine in completing the 2- or 3-year program with us here at STRIVE / Bayside.
We concluded this month in the menu planning workbook. Each of the participants created a mock menu and studied how to follow a budget. We will be putting those skills into play this coming month by having them make a real lunch menu. For their first meal they voted for grilled cheese sandwiches with watermelon on the side. One of our goals is navigating to Hannaford, where participants will shop for their ingredients. This will also give them the opportunity to practice the math skills they have been working on. 
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. 
Some participants on Zoom are taking time away from their computers to enjoy the wonderful weather we’ve had recently, and some are even heading back to in-person program! But when we do gather together, we have been working away at designing our annual yearbook and writing up stories of how we spent this last year for us to look back on. Additionally, in coffee talk, we have been practicing social skills by brainstorming up the perfect backyard BBQ and discussing what we would serve if we had one. Participants have enjoyed some special guests on Zoom as well. Corey from Cong Tu Bot showed them behind the scenes of the restaurant and made a delicious cabbage salad. Mia from the Center for Maine Contemporary Art gave everyone a tour of the gallery and led them in a cool art project of collaging geometric designs.

For in person program this month we welcomed the lift of some more CDC restrictions, allowing participants to be more in the community. Everyone has enjoyed going to local state parks, walking paths and resuming our first volunteer position in nearly a year and a half, gardening at Fort Williams! We also celebrated the beginning of summer at program by going strawberry picking at Maxwell’s Farm! Participants enjoyed picking delicious strawberries to bring home. We are excited for a fun filled summer of more excursions and getting to visit more places as our community opens up more.
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, Active & Waves, please contact Emily at
Wednesday Night Educational Series
We spent the month of June brushing up on our summer safety skills! We learned so much, including steps we should take while we are our in the sun, bugs and plants we should be aware of, and why staying hydrated is so important!

In July, we will focus on Personal Hygiene. While we've all be home for the past year, our personal hygiene skills may not have been kept up with! Personal hygiene is so important, especially in the summer months. During our first week together we will talk about the importance of personal hygiene and our own hygiene ba. After, we will spend each week on a different topic including; how to keep our body clean, ways to care for our eyes, ears, and teeth, and our outward appearance.
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 Whitney at  for your link to join class.
Camp STRIVE is off and running! We are just nearing the end of our second week of the summer - our first time back together in-person since 2019! Camp is being held under our brand new giant tent this summer, and we've been having a blast outside playing games, dancing, doing arts and crafts projects, and of course- socializing with our friends! We are so glad to be back together and spending time together this summer.

For more information on Camp STRIVE, contact Whitney at, or call 207-774-6278.
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 had such a fun month of Tweens in June! It seems like our tween participants have really been enjoying our scheduled activities. July will be just as much fun! Take a look below to see what we have planned! We are also excited to be welcoming a new staff- Conner, to our team on Fridays! Some of you may have seen Conner around the STRIVE building. We are so excited to welcome her to Tweens and can't wait to show her all of the fun we have on a weekly basis!
Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new friendships and learn new skills for folks 11-14 years old. Structured in our Teen Center, 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 Whitney at
STRIVE Night had a very fun month of June! Our weekly rounds of bingo have gotten very competitive, with everyone wanting to spend extra time playing so they can snag a bingo victory! We're still loving our weekly karaoke hour, and the ability to stay connected with our friends. If you or someone you know would like to join our weekly virtual social, contact Whitney at for your link to join!
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 from  6-9pm, with at least one special "theme" night happening each month.  For more information, contact Whitney at
STRIVE 25 is more fun than ever! We continue to welcome 20-25 participants each time we meet. It so nice to be able to catch up with everyone more than just once a month. We learn so much about each other through our check-in and check-out questions! Our talented participants continue to amaze us with each karaoke performance (we usually get some great dance moves as well!) and there are always tons of laughs during an intense Bingo game... or two! We hope you'll join us this month for STRIVE 25. We are love welcoming new members! If you are interested in joining in on this fun social event, let us know!
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
June brought a ton of fun episodes for the STRIVECast gang! We interviewed folks from a variety of fun places, like Funtown Splashtown, EcoMaine, Rosemont Market, and more! We even had a week where we interviewed our very own producer, Susie!

In July, we're looking forward to sitting down with guests from organizations like Garbage to Garden, The Tl
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 June Donors!
  • Patricia and Perry Thibodeau- In Memory of William “Bill" Hughes
  • Harold and Peggy Osher
  • Samantha Leavitt
  • Kaitlyn Clement
  • Nappi Distributors – In Memory of Adelaide Scribner
  • Linwood Higgins- In Memory of Adelaide Scribner
  • Nathan Giddings- In Memory of William “Bill” Hughes
  • Andrea Paul- In Memory of William “Bill” Hughes
  • Robert Watson- In Memory of William “Bill” Hughes
  • Catherine Tarpy- In Memory of William “Bill” Hughes
  • Rose Marie De Perte- In Memory of Adelaide Scribner
  • Teresa Jeffers- In Memory of William “Bill” Hughes
  • Lisa Clark- In Honor of Kierin K and Jack P
  • Kris-Way Truck Leasing, Inc,
  • Sara Corbett- In Memory of Betty Beaulieu 
  • Lauren Kilcoyne - In Memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Kevin Neales- In Memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • David Pearce- In Memory of Betty Beaulieu
  • Bruce and Karen Watson- In Memory of William "Bill" Hughes
  • Terry and Carolyn Watson- In Memory of William "Bill" Hughes
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 July!
Jack Prato
Richard James Smith
Taylor Googins
Joanne Haibon
Carter Harnden
Nate Murray
Gabby Sloan
Darren Ingraham
Patrick Taylor
Olivia Lauren Sailor
Karrina Darling
Jakob McDonough
Nathan Ickes-Coon
Jack Christensen
Camden Ryan
Brady Fitzgerald
Kaj Ovady
Member Spotlight

Meet Ayla! Ayla attends our Camp STRIVE program, and we have been so excited to see her in person again as Camp STRIVE re-opened a few weeks ago! Ayla says her favorite parts of coming to STRIVE are "hanging out with her friends" and "seeing the camp counselors." Ayla is incredibly knowledgeable about dogs, and all things Jonas Brothers! We love having Ayla in Camp STRIVE and are honored to play a role in her life!
Staff Spotlight
Our July Staff Spotlight is Conner Cherniak! Conner has been at PSL/STRIVE for 3 years. Conner has held many different roles in the organization and has most recently started an Ed Tech position in our TOPS program. This month, Conner will also be joining our Tweens and STRIVE Night programs as our new Lead DSP! We're so excited to welcome Conner into our fun Friday Nights. Conner says, "my favorite part about working at STRIVE is that I get to work with individuals to learn about, grow into, and explore their best selves. There is never a dull moment because I get to make everything I do fun!" 

Thanks for all you do, Conner! We are grateful to have you on the PSL/STRIVE Team!
General Announcements
Beach to Beach 2021

We are excited to announce that the Beach to Beacon is back this year! This year’s race will be virtual, meaning you will be able to run your very own 10K course anytime between July 23rd and August 8th. STRIVE has very limited amount of available bibs! Bibs will also come with an official B2B race shirt and finisher’s medal that will be mailed to you directly from the TD B2B organization. You can find out all information about this year’s race at: . This year, we are asking all that run on behalf of STRIVE fundraise or donate a suggested minimum of $50. We use an easy, online platform to collect donations.
If you would like a bib, please contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes, at Bibs will be given on a first come, first serve basis. If you know of others that would be interested in running on behalf of STRIVE, please send them our way. Since we have such a limited number of bibs, we are asking all that are interested to contact Whitney by Tuesday, July 6th.

STRIVE Auction 2021
The STRIVE Events Team and Auction Committee are in the beginning stages of planning STRIVE's 17th Annual Auction! As many things, this year's event is going to look a little different than it has in the past. We will be organizing a hybrid event, with a small in-person kick-off Wednesday, October 27th and online bidding open October 27th through November 3rd. We will be using the website "Bidding For Good", which we used last year, for the online portion of the event. More information about the auction will be made public soon!

Are you interested in donating an item or experience to this year's auction? Is your business or another business you know of interested in becoming a sponsor of the event? For all things auction, contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney, at

Our auction website- - will be kept up to date with more auction details as we get closer to the event.
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!
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!