STRIVE News & Updates

July 1st, 2022


Every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm

*in person*


Every Friday from 6-9pm

*in person and virtual options*


Thursday, July 7th and 21st

from 6-8pm

*In person July 7th,

Virtual July 21st*

STRIVE for 5: Foden Road 5K and Block Party

*in-person and virtual options*

Saturday, August 27th

8:30am with Block Party immediately to follow

Kevin on the Roof 2022 

Friday, September 9th 

More info to come!

STRIVE's Annual Auction 

Coming this fall! 

For more information about programs and upcoming events,

visit our website at!

Scroll down to read about your favorite STRIVE programs and more!

  • STRIVE Bayside
  • Next STEP
  • Wednesday Night Educational Series
  • Camp STRIVE
  • After School
  • Tweens
  • STRIVE Night
  • STRIVE 25
  • The STRIVECast

Special Features
  • Monthly Donors
  • Monthly Birthdays
  • Member Spotlight
  • Staff Spotlight
  • General Announcements and Events

Need to contact STRIVE?

Email or call (207)774.6278 to get in touch with a STRIVE staff or program!
Visit our website
Donate to STRIVE

STRIVE For 5- Foden Road 5K

and Block Party! 

Save the date! We are excited to announce the return of our STRIVE for 5 5K and Block Party! We will also continue to have a virtual 5K option for those that do not want to participate in person. Check out more event info below! 

When:  Saturday, August 27th, 2022

Children’s Fun Run begins at 8am, 5K/Walk Begins at 8:30am

Block Party immediately follows the 5k/Walk

Rain or Shine

Where: STRIVE, 28 Foden Road, South Portland ME 04106

Entry Fee: $30 per person before 08/25. $35 for participants signing up on 08/26 (packet pick-up) or 08/27 (day-of).

    Participants 12 and under are free with an adult.         

    Every participant receives a shirt from STRIVE and free admittance to all elements of the block party.


Race Info: Children’s Fun Run will start at the STRIVE parking lot and go to the end of Foden Road (will be closed to traffic) before turning around to finish back at the parking lot. During the 5k, runners will line up and walkers will follow. The course runs from STRIVE on Foden Road through Texas Instruments’ Property onto Jet Port Plaza Road then circles back. Spectators can view the race on Foden Road & Jetport Road. Map available HERE

Awards: Presented to top male & female per age group: 12 and Under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+.

Free Block Party: Please join the STRIVE Business to Business Networking Group immediately following the race at the Block Party right at STRIVE! This is a family friendly event featuring music, kids’ activities, food and more! 

Registration is NOW OPEN!   CLICK HERE to register now! 

Need more info? Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes at

ID: STRIVE for 5 logo

Be sure to save the date for our other Fall events! More info to come on both!  

  • Our 10th Annual Kevin on the Roof event begins Friday, September 9th at Patriot Subaru in Saco! What do you think Kevin's 2022 goal will be?? 

  • Our auction committee is also hard at work planning our 18th annual auction! Our event date is still to be determined, but its not too early to start collecting item donations! Are you, or someone you know, interested in donating an item, experience or something else? Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes, at to find out how! 
Image Description (ID): "We're Hiring!" flyer with position and contact information and 3 photos of staff working with STRIVE participants.

Are you, or someone you know in the market for a new job?

We're hiring for a number of positions!

We have full time, part time, and per diem opportunities available- including weekdays, evenings, and weekends!

For the month of July, we are also offering a $1,750 sign on bonus (after 30 days of successful employment) 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!

Things are starting to settle down over here at STRIVE U. Over this past weekend we had graduation for the STRIVE U Class of 2022! These 7 students worked extremely hard over the last couple of years. They spent hours working on goals, sitting in classes, and working at different jobs. We wish them the best of luck as they start on their new journey of independence! We also welcomed to campus the STRIVE U Class of 2024! They are starting to get adjusted to living on their own and campus life! 

ID: STRIVE U graduates in blue camps and gowns. They are wearing face masks and and holding pink roses. 

ID: STRIVE U students posting outside in front of basketball hoop. 

ID: STRIVE U student outside holding a plate that has waffles, whipped cream and fruit. 

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.
Click here for more information about STRIVE U

Let's Think About It! 


STRIVE WorldWIDE is offering a brand new class in July: Critical Thinking! Critical Thinking is using reason to examine all the information before making an informed decision or opinion. Let's think about voting. Do you vote? How do you decide who you'll vote for? Critical thinking will remind us to do some research before we get into the voting booth. We don't want to know who or what you're voting for, or why, but we want to make sure that you do! We will examine media and information sources and look at how different people and websites present the same information in different ways. How do you know if you're getting the whole story? We'll also practice listening to and understanding people who we don't agree with. We'll look for common ground and ways to communicate and collaborate (that's a jargon giraffe word for work together).  


Let’s Practice: 

1.    Perspective taking: If you LOVE chocolate ice cream, can you think of two reasons why someone else might like strawberry better? Email Sara at with your favorite ice cream flavor and one reason why someone else might not like it!  

2.    Problem Solving (and misdirection): You are in a dark room with a single match. The only objects available to you are a candle, an oil lamp, and a gas stove. Which item do you light first? Email Anne at with your answer. 


If you are interested in learning more about our classes or joining us for Critical Thinking, check out our course catalog here

ID: Critical Thinking images mentioned in SWW writeup- green thumbs up, red thumbs down, STRIVE WorldWIDE Critical Thinking class image and information, matchstick, candle, lantern and stovetop. 

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
Click here for more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE

TOPS celebrated the graduation and completion of programming for 11 students at the beginning of the month. Each student gave a final speech, outlining their growth and plans for their future. Our students practiced for over a month to write and deliver their speech. It was undoubtably a successful evening! 


Our 13 returning students wrapped up the school year by mid-month and have a few weeks off before our Extended School Year (ESY) program begins.  While students are out of session, our staff are busy planning and organizing for ESY and the upcoming school year. Our team is excited to welcome all 26 students for the 6-week program this summer! 

ID: 9 graduating TOPS students posing with their graduation certificates. 


Interested in TOPS? TOPS (Transition Outcomes Program for Students) provides transition programming for high school students from area school districts who are typically 18 years and older. For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison, or by phone at 207-879-0847.

Click here for more information about TOPS
STRIVE Bayside

It’s been a very exciting month here at Bayside where we’ve welcomed two new participants Ayla and Nathan who are settling into our busy routine of shopping, banking, navigating, library, and our newest addition; danceability where we enjoy time moving to the music with peers from different programs. Bayside is warming up and as the summer sets in, participants are trying to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors as they can. Bayside is lucky to be so close to beautiful local parks like Eastern Prom and Deering Oakes where our groups play tennis, read a book under the shade, or even get our feet wet on hot days in the splash area. To add a little challenge to our navigation goals staff have developed a scavenger hunt where participants will either find local spots or items in person or take selfies with them. Tune in next month to see who finds the most items on the list. Also, next month we look forward to more bussing adventures and exploring new parts of downtown Portland with our new participants. Welcome Ayla and Nathan!

We are proud to welcome home Brandon and Charlie from their events at the Special Olympics they both trained very hard and were dedicated to their sports of swimming for Charlie and track and field for Brandon. Congrats boys you’ve worked hard!

ID: 3 Bayside participants on the waterfront. A ferry boat is in the background. 

ID: Bayside participants at Danceability.

ID: Bayside participate at Special Olympic games. He has a medal around his neck. 

ID: Bayside participant with Special Olympics medal around his neck. His is giving a thumbs up and wearing glasses and a face mask. 

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
Click here for more information about Bayside
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. 
Click here for more information about Next STEP

Summer has arrived here at STRIVE! We got to kick off the summer by going strawberry picking, with the strawberries that we picked, we made homemade popsicles. They were perfected on a hot summer day! Also here at program we are continuing all are usual activities. Some of these activities is cooking, volunteering, hiking, and going to the beaches. Some of our seasonal volunteer sites are Fort Williams, where we help keep the gardens looking nice for all our visitors that come to Maine. Portland Gear Hub is another place we volunteer at where we help them take apart bikes that people donate. Another place we started volunteering at is Maine Audubon. We help them keep the discovery room clean and organized for their camp visitors that they have throughout the summer. We also help them with many other projects!

For our virtual group, we are continuing to learn how to take photos using are phones. We are learning to take pictures with different angles. We are learning how things are made in our how it’s made group. We are learning how to write story’s in our writing group. To end the week we get to take field trips to different parts of the world and learn about all the different cultures! 

ID: 3 ACTIVE participants in a field picking strawberries. 

ID: 2 ACTIVE participants on a trail. They are standing on a wooden bridge by a pond. 

For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, ACTIVE & WAVES, please contact Community Support Program Director, Veerle Pottie, at
Click here for more information about ACTIVE/WAVES
Wednesday Night Educational Series

Last month we finished up a great series on Money Management with guest teachers from Norway Savings Bank! In July, we're looking forward to starting a new class on Internet Safety. We will continue our hybrid model and students will be able to attend in-person or virtually! Weekly topics include phishing and scams, the pros and cons of online communities, and evaluating websites.  Please fill out our registration form if you are interested in attending! 

Image Description (ID): blue background with an image of a computer screen with a lock in the top right and an image of two computers surrounded by speech bubbles with internet symbols in the bottom left. 

The Wednesday Night Educational Series is held every Wednesday, with a hybrid model, 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. For more information or for your link to join class, contact Alex at

Click here for more information about STRIVE's Wednesday Night Educational Series

The first two weeks of camp have flown by! It has been so nice to be back for another summer together. We've seen a lot of familiar faces and have welcomed lots of new campers. We are also excited to have some  new counselors with us this summer- not one but TWO Hannahs, Rachele and Amber! We're excited for all that's in store this summer! 

ID: A group of campers outside standing in front of trees and a wooden fence. 

ID: A group of campers and staff working on crafts under the camp tent at STRIVE. 

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
Click here for more information about Camp STRIVE
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. 
Click here for more information about After School

Happy July! After a great June filled with fun food creations, games, and a scavenger hunt, Tweens is excited for another month of in-person activities! This month we have some fun things planned, including a visit from therapy dogs Woodrow and Murphy, watercolor painting, and some more yummy food activities! 

Image Description (ID): purple background with white rectangle in the middle. Around the outside of the flyer is a shooting star, red and white rocket, paint tray, rainbow, flame, yellow smiley face, and four silver stars. 

Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new friendships and learn new skills for folks 11-14 years old. 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
Click here for more information about Tweens

STRIVE Night is looking forward to another fun month of Friday night socials! We are continuing our hybrid model and participants will have the option to join us in person or on Zoom! We will meet every Friday in July, with a special Fourth of July theme night on Friday, July 8th! We hope to see you there ! 

Image Description (ID): blue background with four lighter blue stars. There are two rows of stars in the middle in between the text.

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
Click here for more information about STRIVE Night

STRIVE 25 is excited for another in-person social on Thursday, July 7th! As a reminder, STRIVE 25 meets twice a month: in-person on the first Thursday of the month and on Zoom the third Thursday of the month. We hope you'll join us from some fun games and great conversations with friends! 

Image Description (ID): pink background with a white circle in the center. Around the circle are blue, orange, white, and pink flowers. There are pink, red, and white flowers in the top right corner and bottom left corner. 

STRIVE 25 is a social event for folks 25 and older. It currently runs on the first and third Thursday of each month from 6-8pm. The first Thursday is in person and the third Thursday is on Zoom! For more information on STRIVE 25, contact Whitney at or Alex at!

Click here for more information about STRIVE 25

The STRIVECast team had a great month of June and had the opportunity to talk to some amazing guests! We got to talk to Joe Reardon of Saco & Biddeford Savings Bank, Emma Tiedemann - Director of Broadcasting with the Portland Sea Dogs, and played some fun games as a STRIVECast team . We also got to play some fun games as a STRIVECast team! We hope you enjoyed listening to these conversations as much as we enjoyed having them! Do you have a guest idea for an upcoming show? Let us know!

Image Description (ID): Screenshot of a Zoom recording with eight boxes. There are the seven members of the STRIVECast team 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!
Click here for more information on The STRIVECast

Thank you to our June Donors!

Dirigo Federal Credit Union

Valerie Healey

Andrew Hubbard

Teamsters Local Union No. 340

Allan McHale

Todd Colpitts- In Honor of Dimillo's Old Port Yacht Sales, Inc

Barry Dunlap- In Honor of Caleb Dunlap

David and Cynthia Barnard

Laurie Cavanaugh

Timothy Mortenson/Paula Artaserse Mortenson

Peter Lawrence

Great Falls Family Foundation- In Honor of Cole Shiers

Richard and Barbara Wigton

Gordon and Laurie Oliver

Melissa Page- In Honor of Charlie Mercer

David Gacetta

Kayla Mirabella 

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 July!

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."

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 Andy! Andy is one of our STRIVE campers! Andy visited Camp STRIVE during April vacation and is now spending some time with us this summer. Andy said his favorite thing about camp so far has been "having fun"! We're so happy you are enjoying camp, Andy! 

ID: Picture of camper Andy. He is smiling, wearing a red shirt, and doing a summer crossword puzzle. 

Staff Spotlight

ID: Picture of Hannah. She is in a white dress, wearing a graduation cap, and holding a graduation gown over her shoulder. 

Meet Hannah! Hannah is one of our new camp counselors this summer. Hannah is a recent college graduate and started at STRIVE earlier this Spring. Hannah says her favorite thing about STRIVE is "is all of the people- participants, staff, and every single person has been helpful and inviting!". We're excited to have you with us this summer, Hannah! 

General Announcements
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.
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New members: You will be asked to complete an updated information form upon your arrival to Tweens, STRIVE Night or STRIVE 25. Want to get a head start? Visit to submit your membership form today!
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