STRIVE News & Updates
March 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!
STRIVE U Students have been busy getting back into the routine of attending in-person classes at SMCC for the spring semester. First-year students are taking a finance and budget course. While our 2nd & 3rd-year students are taking a communications course this semester. The students are really enjoying being able to utilize all parts of campus- especially the dining hall!

Students have also been working more on navigating in the community- via bus and foot. The students have been exploring all that Portland has to offer from visiting new stores in the old port or trying out some new walking trails around town.

It’s an exciting time on campus, we are starting to gear up for the 2nd and 3rd-year students to start transitioning into their off-campus apartments before graduation! We are always looking for new contacts at apartment buildings in the greater Portland area. If you know someone- please feel free to reach out to us on campus.
ID: Two STRIVE U students waiting outside at the bus stop.
Both are wearing blue jackets and face masks.
ID: Two STRIVE U students eating lunch in the cafeteria at SMCC. Both are sitting at a table a smiling.
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 Celebrates Digital Learning Day!
Did you know that February 22, 2022 was Digital Learning Day? We took this day to educate our social media supporters about the different types of digital learning. There is synchronous learning, which means "at the same time," like meeting on Zoom to be able to talk to
your classmates and instructors. Or there is asynchronous learning, which means "not at the same time," like self-paced work that you can do at any time that works for your schedule. We asked our supporters which type of learning they preferred. Asynchronous was selected. We were excited to hear that because our STRIVE WorldWIDE Courses have Asynchronous (self-paced) work that students do on their own time. And as a bonus, you never lose access, so your classes become a library of resources for you!

If you are interested in learning more about our classes, check out our course catalog here
ID: STRIVE WorldWIDE logo at the top of the image. In center are the words/definitions of "synchronous" and "asynchronous" with images of a zoom meeting on a laptop and a person doing work alone at a desk.
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
This month, our students worked on identifying their preferred activities. Students were tasked with signing up for group fitness activities, identifying their clothing sizes and considering what they like to wear, and they even explored different types of foods (fruit, vegetables, and spices).

Our students are given opportunities to make decisions throughout their day.  When students make their own decisions and choices in their life, this leads to a more successful outcome and sustainable habits.  This also supports students as they transition into Adult Programming, allowing for more flexibility and comfort when introduced to new things. Coming up, our students can expect to try more food options, shop for preferred clothing, and design their own at-home workouts.
ID: TOPS student cutting a cucumber with a knife.
ID: TOPS student placing an order at a restaurant. He is speaking with a cashier who is on the other side of the counter, standing behind a computer screen.
ID: TOPS student sitting at a table, holding up a drawing he made. The drawing is split into 4 colored squares. Each square has one letter- "L", "O", "V", "E".
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
This month, Bayside participants worked hard at goals such as navigating to new businesses and even interviewing the employees to learn about what types of jobs they do and more about the place they work at. The morning group learned that at Walgreens you can pick up prescriptions, get vaccines, and shop for essential items like toothpaste and even some canned dry goods.

We've also been working on cooking skills! One participant made homemade Sheppard’s pie packed with ground turkey, carrots, and topped with mashed potatoes. Another client tried his hand at chicken parmesan sandwiches and baked them in the oven, so the mozzarella was melted and delicious. We ended this month with a group baking lesson making apple filled crescent rolls.

Participants continue to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, keeping it clean for the residents. Adventure day is still a big hit and we have enjoyed bowling, going out to enjoy some take out and homemade donuts at one of our favorite local spots: HIFI donuts. A little snow did not stop Bayside this month and we still did a library day but instead we used our technology to research other cultures; this time we learned about Greece. Fun fact: Greece was the birthplace of the Olympics!
ID: Bayside participant in the kitchen making shepard's pie.
ID: Four Bayside participants in the kitchen baking.
ID: Bayside participant vacuuming the carpet at volunteer site.
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. 
With the snowfall that we had in the beginning of the month, participants got to enjoy some fun activities like snowshoeing, ice skating and snow tubing. We started going to dance on site again and also got to start volunteering at the Dempsey Center! At the Dempsey Center participants are responsible for taking out their recycling and trash every week. They were so excited to be able to start volunteering again. Every week we are continuing to stay active by going to play squash at Portland Community Squash. We also have been learning how to take some creative pictures in our photography group. Participants are learning how important it is to budget each week. Some of the things we budget for is cooking, dance, and bowling. In the beginning of each week participants sit down and budget for their weekly activities that they choose to do for the week.
In our virtual group, participants are continuing to learn how things are made in our science group. We are learning how to be creative in photography group. We are learning how to navigate in different parts of the world in navigation group. We are also staying active while at home by following a walking work out and doing some yoga online.
ID: Community supports participant sitting at a table holding a large pink heart cut from paper. There are other Valentine's Day crafts and materials in front of him on the table,
ID: Two community supports participants snow shoeing outside.
ID: Community supports participant at ice rink with hockey stick and puck.
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, ACTIVE & WAVES, please contact Emily at
Wednesday Night Educational Series
We finished up our Health & Nutrition series by collaborating on a Wednesday Night Ed Cookbook and sharing some great recipes with each other! Yum! We are also excited for our new series starting in March. We will focusing on Communication and Social Skills and talking about formal vs. informal communication, non-verbal communication, and reciprocal conversation.
Image Description (ID): Blue flyer with white text. On the left side is an image of two heads with speech bubbles. On the bottom right is an image of a person sitting at a desk on a Zoom call. .
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.
The STRIVE team is currently making plans for summer camp! Please check our website for any updates or reach out to Alex Woodhouse at
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. 
Happy March! We're looking forward to another great month of Tweens and we hope you'll join us for some fun virtual activities!
March 4th: Making Music
March 11th: Step by Step Drawings
March 18th: Spring Fling!
March 25th: Let's Get Active!

We've updated our Tweens membership forms and are asking all new and current Tweens to fill out an updated version. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description (ID): dark blue background with white, blue, red, and orange circles and x shapes around the outside. Text is in white, orange, and blue down the middle.
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
We're looking forward to another great month of virtual STRIVE Night! We get to meet every Friday in March and we're looking forward to some great conversation, singing karaoke, playing bingo and answering some fun would you rather questions! Join us on March 18th for our St. Patrick's Day Theme Night! Don't forget to wear your green!

We've updated our STRIVE Night membership forms and are asking all new and current STRIVE Night particiapnts to fill out an updated version. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description: Gray background with text in black and green. On the top right is a green rectangle with gray arrows pointing up. On the bottom left is a green rectangle with black diagonal lines underneath the rectangle.
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
STRIVE 25 is meeting twice in March and we're excited to continue welcoming new members! We have a great time chatting during our check in question, cheering each other on as we sing karaoke, getting competitive playing a few rounds of bingo and answering some fun would you rather questions! We hope to see you on March 10th and 24th!

We've updated our STRIVE 25 membership forms are asking all new and current STRIVE 25 members to fill our an updated version. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description :pink background with purple and white flowers. Text is in black.
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 great February and interviewed some awesome guests! We got to talk to Stephen Clark - Executive Director of Haven Camps Inc, Meghan Austin and Stephanie Smit - Shelter Directors at PAWS Animal Adoption Center, Eileen Veroneau Brown - Director of Development and Communications at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine, and Kiana Plumer - Employment Coordinator at STRIVE U! WE hope you enjoyed these conversations as much as we did! Do you have a guest idea for an upcoming show? Let us know!
Image Description Screenshot of the STRIVECast Zoom recording. Black background with eight picture squares including 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!
Thank you to our February Donors!

-Glenn and Doris Meehan
-Judith Borelli
-Christine and George Leblanc
-Yarmouth Auto Care
-Caitlin Lally
-Kayla Mirabella
-MastHead Venture Partners- In Memory of Bruce Bohrmann
-Fred Bopp
-Barbara DeCoste- In Memory of Bruce Bohrmann
Charles and Harriet Vaughan

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 February!
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."
Eddie Wickwire
Forest Leavitt
Andrew Tanguay
Carley Chapman
Cory Hutchins
Austin Pietras
Tyler Smith
Andrew Jenkins
Devon Frederico
Jordan Curtis
Taylor Geiger
Kaitlyn Patterson 
Nava Aryan
Calvin Mahoney
Nicholas Smith
Shamus Colson
Bridget Kusturin
Lola Goldman
Ethan Aube 
Bradley Parker 

Member Spotlight
Image Description (ID): photo of member spotlight, Ben. He is standing up inside and wearing a white t-shirt with a paw print.

Meet Ben! Ben attends our virtual Wednesday Night Educational Series! Ben says, "I love living in the country, like taking care of dogs at the dog rescue & I have a great taste for pizza. Speaking of pizza, I really liked being a part of the Strive nutrition Zoom class. It was a great reminder on how to take care of your health & safety. I would recommend it to anyone who needs some tips on cooking, nutrition & health."
Staff Spotlight

Meet Kasey! Kasey is interning at STRIVE during her spring semester! Kasey says, "Hello! I am an intern at STRIVE this semester, and am currently finishing up my Social and Behavioral Science degree at USM. In my free time, I love hanging out with friends, finding new fun spots to visit, and going on walks with my puppy. While there are so many fun things about STRIVE, my favorite part has been all the amazing people! Everyone that I have met so far has been so welcoming and knowledgeable. I am so excited for the learning and opportunities I’ll continue to have over the next few months!"
ID: A picture of STRIVE's intern, Kasey. She has long hair and is wearing a plaid scarf.
General Announcements
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 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.