STRIVE News & Updates

March 1st, 2023


Every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm

*in person*


Every Friday from 6-9pm

*in person and virtual options*


Thursday, March 2nd

from 6-8pm

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

STRIVE Rocks 2023 update!

We are so excited to be planning for

STRIVE Rocks 2023!

This year’s event will take place virtually 8pm, Friday, May 5th- 8am, Saturday, May 6th

Learn More Here! 
Register Here! 

To participate, all you'll need to do is fundraise a minimum of $40 to get the link to enter! We also have other incentives if you’d like to continue your fundraising!

• Raise $50 or more and you'll get a STRIVE Rocks T-Shirt!

• Raise $250, $500 or $1,000 (or more), to become a STRIVE Rocks All Star/VIP/MVP and get even more special STRIVE gear!

Some of you may be wondering why we are still hosting a virtual event. Here are a few of our reasons:


·       STRIVE Rocks on Zoom allows for more participants to attend. Participants that may not be able to stay up all night in person can come and go as they please during the virtual event. 


·       STRIVE Rocks on Zoom allows us to bring the fun of STRIVE Rocks to participants not just in Maine! For the past 3 years, we’ve had STRIVE Rocks participants join us from northern Maine and other parts of the country!


·       On Zoom, we are able to have acts from across the country join us. This year, we already have entertainment booked from New York, North Carolina, and more! 


·       Above all, STRIVE Rocks is a fundraiser. Doing the event virtually allows us to raise significantly more money for STRIVE programs!

Click the above video to learn more!

Do you want to help plan this exciting event? We will be having another focus group meeting this month! Email Casey at for more information!

Questions about the event?

Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney, at!

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 March, 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!

STRIVE U students are ready for Spring! Students and staff have been enjoying watching the birds at our new window bird feeder. It has been fun identifying the birds as they stop by! Cardinals and Blue Jays seem to be the most frequent flyers! The last snow storm students enjoyed working together to make three different flavor muffins to share with each other. They smelled delicious! 

ID: two STRIVE U students washing dishes

ID: six STRIVE U students around a table with muffin batter

ID: STRIVE U student spooning muffin batter into muffin tin

ID: red bird in bird feeder

ID: bird sitting outside window

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 tour, or get an application, please contact or call (207) 774.6278.

Click here for more information about STRIVE U

25 Down, 25 To Go!! 


It's official! We now officially have STRIVE WorldWIDE students in 25 states (and 2 countries). 25 down, 25 to go! Check out all the states where we have students. Can you help us fill out this map? We can call it STRIVE WorldWIDE US BINGO. When all the gray states are filled in... BINGO! 


We are also playing STRIVE WorldWIDE Maine BINGO—right now we have students in 8 of the 16 Maine counties. We have students from the following counties: 

  1. Cumberland 
  2. York 
  3. Washington 
  4. Androscoggin 
  5. Oxford 
  6. Franklin 
  7. Lincoln 
  8. Sagadahoc 


If you know someone who might want to take STRIVE WorldWIDE courses (regardless of if it helps us get BINGO or not), have them reach out to Anne Ryan at ARyan@PSLSTRIVE.Org 

ID: US maps with red location dots on 25 states. The STRIVE WorldWIDE logo is in the top left.

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

February was filled with appreciation projects, community exploration and volunteering! TOPS has four weekly volunteer sites; Preble Street Food Pantry, The Root Cellar, The Dempsey Center and the Ronald McDonald Charity House. 

Building volunteer opportunities into our weekly schedule allows our students to gain employment skills in real worksites. It allows our teachers and support staff to see our students’ strengths outside of our program space, along with any gaps in skills that we

can target. Collaboration with these sites has been an incredibly valuable addition to our TOPS curriculum. 

ID: TOPS student vacuuming a red carpet. There is a table, shelves, window, and door in the background as well as small pieces of artwork on the wall.

ID: TOPS student bending over reading a piece of paper. He is standing at a table with cleaning supplies and a broom leaning against it.

ID: 2 TOPS students working at metal shelves with food on them.

ID: 3 TOPS students throwing cardboard boxes into a dumpster.

ID: 3 TOPS students standing together and smiling. There are many cardboard boxes behind them.

ID: TOPS student wiping the surface of wooden cabinets with a disinfecting wipe.

 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

This has been a month full of changes here at Bayside…. First of all, we are excited to announce that we had a new participant join us in our afternoon session- please join us in welcoming Hayden!!!

ID: Bayside participants and staff posing for photo

Amidst the changes, participants have been stepping up their cooking game. We have been buying fresh meat from the grocery store and learning how to season and cook it in the air fryer. It’s healthy, quick, and delicious! 

ID: photo of new participant, Hayden

Our next piece of news is that we said goodbye to one of our staff members- Siona. She will be going onto her next adventure and will be traveling abroad. Participants took some time to research other countries at the library and celebrated her last day with bowling and German chocolate cake.

ID: two participants cooking

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

ACTIVE: This month we went on a group trip to the Southworth Planetarium to see the show Dinosaurs at Dusk! The Southworth Planetarium is part of University of Southern Maine’s Portland Campus, and is a great community resource! There, we learned all about dinosaurs from the Mesozoic era. We had close encounters with a Triceratops, a Argentinosaurus, and more! Some groups even got to visit with Brie at the Osher Map Library to learn more about dinosaurs as well. Thank you to Brie and to the Southworth Planetarium for an awesome experience!

WAVES: This month we went on a trip to the Portland Stage to see the play Sweet Goats and Blueberry Senoritas! They invited us to see a play during one of their Student Matinees, so that we could see a performance during normal program hours. Sweet Goats and Blueberry Senoritas was about Beatriz, a Cuban American baker in Maine. The performance followed Beatriz as she cooks up the recipes of her childhood with the raw ingredients of Maine. The Portland Stage is one of Maine’s largest fully professional, non-profit theaters. Thank you to everyone at the Portland Stage for making this such a memorable experience!

ID: Two participants, a STRIVE staff member, and an Osher Map Library staff member holding a stuffed dinosaur

ID: an actor on the stage

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

In March, our Wednesday Night Ed Series will be learning all about building healthy habits to best take care of ourselves! In this series we will discuss how we build habits and ways to practice self-care. Students will have the option to join in-person or virtual, both from 6-8pm!

ID: light purple background with blue flowers on the top right, left, and center. On the bottom left is an image a woman sitting surrounded by circles that show different self care methods (vegetables, books, yoga mat and weights, water, and an envelope with a heart)

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 had a great time at February break Camp STRIVE! We played squash, went bowling, sang karaoke, made snacks, and had an amazing trip to Dean's Sweets where we learned all about chocolate! Thanks to everyone who joined us!

Stay tuned for more information about April break Camp STRIVE and summer Camp STRIVE!

ID: Camper smiling holding a plate with a nutella and pretzel spider

ID: three campers sitting at the bowling alley

ID: one camper dancing wile siniging karaoke

ID: Camper smiling holding a box from Dean's Sweets

ID: Three campers dipping fruit in chocolate at Dean's Sweets

ID: Camper playing squash

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

We're excited for another fun month of Tweens activities! This month we will get together five times! We will start the month with some coffee filter crafts and then continue with karaoke, a St. Patrick’s Day party, bird feeder crafts and end with some movement! It’s going to be a blast!

 ID: white background with a green square in the middle and green clovers

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 will meet every Friday in March! Join for us for some fun games, good music, and the opportunity to hang out with friends new and old! On Friday, March 24th we will be celebrating the change in seasons with a Spring Fling themed STRIVE Night! 

ID: white border with light pink in the middle. There are blue, orange, purple, green and black flowers along the top and bottom 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 Friday 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

Happy March! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in-person on Thursday, March 2nd for our STRIVE 25 Talent Show!  We can’t wait to see everyone’s amazing talents! As always there will also be some delicious food and a great time with friends! 

ID: blue border with red box in the center. There are yellow stars around the flyer and a black and gray microphone on the bottom left.

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

Click here for more information about STRIVE 25

The STRIVECast had a great February! We chatted with Erin Kelly from Preble Street, science writer Laura Berry, and biologist Madeline Oerth. We also recorded a special Valentine's Day episode as a STRIVECast team! We hope you enjoyed listening to these conversations as much as we enjoyed having them! Do you have guest or segment ideas for upcoming shows? Let us know! 

ID: screenshot of a STRIVECast recording. There are five 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 February Donors!

  • Norway Savings Bank
  • Barry Dunlap - In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
  • Stephen Hilton Painting
  • Lucille Cusano- In Memory of Dorothy Jones
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 March!

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

Austin Pietras

Tyler Smith

Devon Frederico

Jordan Curtis

Taylor Geiger

Kaitlyn Patterson 

Nava Aryan

Calvin Mahoney

Nicholas Smith

Shamus Colson

Bridget Kusturin

Lola Goldman

Ethan Aube 

Bradley Parker 

Jack Parker

Crystal Miller

Marie Christie

Member Spotlight

Meet Methos! Methos attends our Tweens program and Camp STRIVE! His favorite thing about coming to STRIVE is playing "a challenging game of air hockey with his friends!"

ID: photo of Methos sitting and smiling

Staff Spotlight

ID: photo of staff spotlight Robby. There are two people in the background. They are outside in the snow.

Meet Robby! Robby works in our community support program! His favorite thing about working at STRVE is "is being able to do different activities like squash and bowling. I also love going to my basketball group every Wednesday afternoons at The Point! I have enjoyed staying active and meeting great people while working at STRIVE!" Thanks, Robby, we're grateful to have you! 

General Announcements

Did you know...

that STRIVE has a brand new website? Check us out at!

We are excited to share the site's new, clean, design, and feel that people will be able to easily navigate our many programs and events. Let us know what you think!

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.
Has your mailing address changes recently?
Have a new mailing address to add?
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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