STRIVE News & Updates

June 1st, 2022


Every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm

*in person*


Every Friday from 6-9pm

*in person and virtual options*


Thursday, June 2nd and 16th

from 6-8

*In person June 2nd,

Virtual June 16th*

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

Image Description (ID): STRIVE Rocks 2022 total 

Thank you to all that participated, fundraised, planned, and more for STRIVE Rocks 2022!

Donations are continuing to come in and

we’ve raised over $82,000 for STRIVE programs!


STRIVE's motto is "Communities are stronger when everyone is involved"

and STRIVE Rocks proves that! This event would not be as successful without the support from all of you. We hope you are all proud and are able to recognize the important impact you’ve made at STRIVE! 


We're already excited for STRIVE Rocks 2023! Hope to see you there! 

If you would like to be on the STRIVE Rocks planning committee next year, please reach out to Whitney!

One more thank you to our STRIVE Rocks 2022 sponsors! Without them, this event would not be possible! 

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ID: Logos of our STRIVE Rocks sponsors.

We are in the process of scheduling a 2nd STRIVE Rocks swag pick-up date. On this date you can come get your STRIVE Rocks t-shirt (if you didn't already), All Star/VIP/MVP swag, spirit sash prizes, and top fundraiser prizes.

We will be in touch with this date soon! 

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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 June, 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!

The STRIVE U campus is busy! The second and third-year STRIVE U Students have started the transition out process of the program. Students are moving and getting settled into their off-campus apartments. This past Sunday, STRIVE U Students were invited and participated in the SMCC Graduation Ceremony at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland . This ceremony was a great way to celebrate all of their hard work and accomplishments at SMCC.  The first-year STRIVE U Students are gearing up and getting ready to be the upperclassmen on campus and soon-to-be mentors to the new incoming class starting next month . 

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SU SMCC grad 22.jpg

ID: 3 pictures of STRIVE U graduating students in black caps and gowns (for the SMCC graduation ceremony).

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

Spreading the Word About STRIVE WorldWIDE


May was a busy month for STRIVE WorldWIDE. In addition to our classes, we were out there, sharing our story! Program Director, Anne Ryan, presented her research on accessible online learning for neurodiverse learners at both national and international conferences. Anne and Program Coordinator, Sara Brown, could also be found at the Maine Association for Community Service Providers annual conference. And we are always out there meeting with agencies, individuals, and their families sharing the work that we do. But perhaps the most fun we had this month was hosting the 6 AM Olympic Hour for STRIVE Rocks! Sara was truly (STRIVE) Rocking it, as a co-host for the entire event. Sleep-loving Anne joined in the wee hours of the morning to host the STRIVE WorldWIDE hour. Congratulations to all those who participated in the amazing event!

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ID: SWW logo in a circle, with the plant Earth behind it. 6 smaller circles are surrounding the SWW logo. The smaller circles each have a different image- a picture of SWW Program Director Anne Ryan, SWW Coordinator Sara Brown, STRIVE Rocks logo, "Ancor" Logo, "DCDT" logo, and "MACSP" Logo. 

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

Spring flew by as our graduates wrapped up their TOPS programming and prepared for their transition out of high school. Our graduates were all tasked with writing a graduation speech that they will perform on graduation night to a live audience of family, school staff and STRIVE community members.  The graduates are really starting to identify what the next few months will look like and are actively sharing their plans with peers.

The end of the year brings out some of the best “teachable moments” as our students actively trying new things, reflect on their year and enjoy the warm spring weather. This month, our students enjoyed a picnic at Fort Williams, had many opportunities for independent shopping, tried some outside group workouts and a wide review of the curriculum presented throughout the school year. 

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ID: 3 photos of TOPS students at Fort Williams Park (Portland Headlight)


ID: TOPS students jumping outside. 

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.
Click here for more information about TOPS
STRIVE Bayside

Warmer weather means way more outdoor activities at Bayside. Our central downtown location puts us within walking distance of beautiful parks like Deering Oakes and Eastern Promenade where participants enjoy taking picnic lunches, playing tennis, and reading library books under the warm spring sunshine. In the kitchen participants continued to work with spices and this month we worked with cinnamon baking up a delicious cinnamon banana bread. They also tried out basil with a yummy recipe of bruschetta that they cooked in the toaster oven. Grocery shopping has become more accessible with the help of April, our dietician helper at Hannaford, who has been guiding us through the Hannaford website where participants can make a virtual shopping list and look up what aisle certain products are located in the store. We continue to learn bussing downtown this time exploring Falmouth and Westbrook. Adventure days have been filled with creative excursions at Strive Studios and exploring the Portland Museum of Art, exercise in the park and Portland Community Squash, and checking out local restaurants where we can eat outside.

We’d like to send our support to Charlie and Brandon as they get ready to head to the Special Olympics in Orlando Florida where Charlie will compete in swimming and Brandon will show his skills with the javelin. Way to go!

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ID: 4 Bayside participants sitting outside at a table with a red umbrella. 

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ID: 2 Bayside participants playing squash indoors at Portland Community Squash. 

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ID: 1 Bayside staff and 2 Bayside participants on the METRO bus. 

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

What a start to spring to it has been! We kicked it off with our annual STRIVE Pride Day! Can you believe it’s been 2 years since our last one! We had fun getting our building all nice and clean and cleaning the outside of our space! It looks for great! We ended our day with our annual cookout! What a feast it was! We also started volunteering at 2 new sites! Maine Audubon, Fort Williams, and Portland Gear Hub! At Maine Audubon we are helping to keep their discovery room clean and organized for when they have their campers come in. At Fort Williams we are helping them maintain their gardens to keep them looking amazing throughout the year! At Portland Gear Hub we get to help them take apart bikes and other cool stuff! Another fun activity that we started back up is going to play Disc Golf at Pleasant Hill! Summer is right around the corner! We cannot wait!!

On the virtual side, we are continuing learning how to take pictures in our photography group! Staying active by dancing our hearts out in Zumba. Learning how to communicate with others differently in our sign language group. Learning how it’s important to know how to navigate our community. We cannot forgot the best of them all is taking field trips every week and learning all about the different places we can go in our community! 

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ID: ACTIVE participant at the beach.


ID: ACTIVE participant mopping the teen center on STRIVE Pride Day.

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ID: 2 ACTIVE participants on a wooden bench with a wooden bear. 

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ID: ACTIVE participant at Portland Community Squash. 

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

We are looking forward to continuing our hybrid model and starting a new series in our Wednesday Night Educational classes! In June, we will be focusing on Money Management and a majority of the classes will be taught by Norway Savings Bank! In this series students will learn all about budgeting and saving, debit cards and bank accounts, how to keep track of your spending, how to read bank statements, and how to interact with tellers while at the bank! 

If you are interested in attending Wednesday Night Educational Series, please fill out the registration here.

Image Description (ID): white flyer with green border around the outside and blue box around the schedule.. There are two green credit cards on the left side and a piggy bank with change on the right side. 

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

We have opened registration for Camp STRIVE summer 2022! We are still ironing out the details but all current information can be found on our website. At the bottom of the camp page, you will find the ‘Register Here’ button. We are asking for a deposit (equal to one full week of camp) to hold a camper’s spot. Register today!  Schedule available soon!

As a reminder, Camp STRIVE is a day camp experience for campers between the ages of 11-24. Camp STRIVE runs for the full summer, with full and half day options available!

Image Description (ID): Camp STRIVE information with photo of 3 campers in the middle. Image of a sunshine in the top left corner and Camp STRIVE logo in bottom right corner.
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

We're looking forward to another fun month of in-person Tweens activities! We will be celebrating the start of summer with a scavenger hunt and field day as well as doing some fun activities involving crafts and cooking! We hope to see you there!

All Tweens, staff, and volunteers will need to wear medical grade masks while in the building. We are also asking all Tweens to fill out our annual membership form! Forms can be found and completed here. Thanks! 

Image Description (ID): green and white background with green, yellow, and white flowers and leaves.

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

We're looking forward to another exciting month of Hybrid STRIVE Nights! Participants will continue to have the option to join STRIVE Night in person or on Zoom! We're excited for a fun June full of dancing, karaoke, games ,and great conversation with friends!  Stay tuned for our June theme night!

All members, staff, and volunteers attending in person will need to wear medical grade masks during STRIVE Night. We are also asking all new and current STRIVE Night members to fill out an updated membership form before attending! Forms can be found and completed here. Thanks! 

Image Description (ID): gray background with six circles in various shades of blue. Program information is written in black in the center of the flyer.

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

June is an exciting day for our STRIVE 25 social - we will be meeting in person!! YAY! Moving forward, STRIVE 25 will meet twice a month from 6-8pm. This first Thursday of each month, STRIVE 25 will be in person at 28 Foden Road in South Portland. The third Thursday of each month, STRIVE 25 will be on Zoom.

All members attending in person will need to wear medical grade masks during STRIVE 25. We are also asking all new and current STRIVE 25 members to fill out an updated membership form! Forms can be found and completed here. Thanks! 

Image Description (ID): Black flyer with pink, yellow, and blue confetti and flag banner along the top. There is pink and yellow party hat in the bottom right corner with confetti coming out of it.

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 May and had the opportunity to talk to some amazing guests! We got to talk to Matthew Hessburg - Founder and Chef at Matthew's Bonfire BBQ, Dugan Murphy - Local Historian and Owner of Portland by the Foot, Jessica and Jordan of Sweet Jordan's, and Liam and Sage, our wonderful Cheverus High School Interns! 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 with eight squares - 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 May Donors!

Image Description (ID): white background with a circle of colored flowers in the middle. Text in the middle reads "Thank You".

Fredric and Doreen Thompson

Nappi Distributors

McLaughlin Enterprises, Inc.

Steven and Louise Greer

Lisa Gorman

Edward and Elizabeth Shevenell

David Blessing Sr

Barry Dunlap- In Honor of Caleb Dunlap

David and Catherine Crockett

Pond Family Foundation

ISCS Hydraulics, Inc- In Honor of Erica Gervais

Pamela Chamberlain- In Honor of Erica Gervais

B. Lee Zacharias

Stephanie Cooper Scherr and William Scherr

Chris A. Berry

Patrick McBrady

Gail and Peter Cinelli

Cynthia Vaughan

Yarmouth Auto Care

George Hildreth

Glenn and Dianne Walton

Lewanne Hughes

Jill and Charles Agnew

Catherine Frederick- In Honor of Myles Frederick

Thomas Caufield- In Honor of Marsha Caufield

Christopher Chase

Dennis McDonald- In Memory of Sylvia Mattson

Lawrence Bell

Thomas Hood- In Honor of Matthew Hood

Jill Wensky- In Honor of Nancy Gerry 

Ryan Watson

Saco Bay Rotary

... and a huge thank you to all that supported STRIVE Rocks 2022!

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 June!

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."

Morgan Adams

Alexander Doyer

Greta Anderson

Courtney Houde

Roberta Anderson

Danielle Doherty

Charlie Saffian

Andy Le

Mary Leahy

Joshua Small

Stephanie Elsman

Samantha Gauthier

Kyle Sargent

Member Spotlight

This month's spotlight is our graduating STRIVE U students! Congratulations to Kerrigan, Graeme, Leeann, Carter, Crystal, Clare, and Patrick! These students participated in SMCC's graduation ceremony in May and will have their own STRIVE U graduation in June!

Image Description (ID): seven students standing outside wearing caps and gowns

Staff Spotlight

Image Description (ID): photo of staff spotlight, Laurie

Meet Laurie! Laurie works in our Friday STRIVE Night socials! She says "I love working at STRIVE. Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful, I really like how we all work as a team and support each other." We're grateful to have you, Laurie! 

General Announcements
Beach To Beacon
The TD Beach To Beacon is back this year and STRIVE has a limited number of bibs available! Would you like to run? We ask all race participants who run on behalf of STRIVE fundraise a minimum of $350. This covers the B2B registration fee as well as a special STRIVE B2B race shirt! Interested in a bib? Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes, at to claim your bib! Bibs will be given on a first come, first serve basis.
ID: Green flyer with bib information. The bottom of the flyer has the STRIVE logo, a picture of runners (feet) and the TD Beach To Beacon logo.
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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Have questions or comments about any of our programs and events?

Email to update your address or speak to a STRIVE staff member!

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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