STRIVE News & Updates
May 1st, 2022
Exciting social events update!

After two years on Zoom, we are SO excited to announce plans for our Tweens (ages 11-14), STRIVE Night (ages 15-24) and STRIVE 25 (ages 25 and up) socials to return to in-person programming!

As of right now, all current COVID-19 protocols will be in place (masks, social distancing, etc.). We will be sure to keep our website up to date with current COVID-19 guidelines within our social programs.

Tweens and STRIVE Night will return with in person options on Friday, May 6th!

Starting in June, STRIVE 25 will meet twice per month - once in person and once on Zoom!

***IMPORTANT NEED*** We will be asking all participants who come to our socials to complete an updated membership form. You can complete your membership form online by clicking the yellow button below. Thank you to those that have already completed their forms!
Questions about returning in person? Contact Alex Woodhouse at or Whitney Wildes at or call 207.774.6278.
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 May, 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 enjoying the spring weather! The on-campus group Walk and Talk sponsored an outdoor celebration for the graduating students! They have been planning and budgeting for the party items during their weekly meetings over the last month. The party was a great way to celebrate the graduating students! Last weekend, students were able to enjoy donated tickets to the Monster Truck Nitro Show at the Cross Insurance Arena. The students were able to go down on the track after the show and see the trucks up close! A great time was had by all! Thank you WGME for donating the tickets.
ID: 4 STRIVE U students standing outside behind a cake on the picnic table. The cake says "Congratulations Class of 2022".
ID: STRIVE U students and staff outside. There are picnic tables, balloons and other food/decorations.
ID: 2 STRIVE U students, smiling and standing in front of a monster truck. There is a man between the students also 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.
Did You Know Friday Is For Fun Facts?
Each Friday, STRIVE WorldWIDE Program Coordinator, Sara Brown, and Program Director, Anne Ryan, bring us fun facts on social media with their STRIVE WorldWIDE Presents: Fun Fact Friday series. You can experience little snippets of what we learn in class and play along with us. Like this week, we practiced Brain Yoga from our Brain Fitness (Executive Functioning) class, which will be starting on 5/23/22. Neuroplasticity is how our brains grow and change. Scientists used to think that after a certain age this ability went away. But we now know that is not true: you can learn new things at any age. We practice brain yoga to show the effects of neuroplasticity--when you first try, it is (nearly) impossible, because you are using both the right and left parts of your brain at the same time. But with practice, you will create new neural pathways that make brain yoga much easier. Want to try it now? Hold your hands up with your palms facing you. Make a fist with each hand. Now, on one hand, stick your thumb out. And on the other hand, stick your pinky out (Position 1). Count to three and then switch hands (Position 2). 
Position 1
ID: Right and left hands. The thumb on the left hand is sticking up. The pinky on the right hand is sticking out.
Position 2
ID: Right and left hands. The thumb on the right hand is sticking up. The pinky on the left hand is sticking out.
 Keep doing this and push yourself to go faster and faster. You may be surprised at how quickly this becomes easier for you!

If you are interested in learning more about our classes, check out our course catalog here
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
April flew by as our program follows the school-year calendar and take a much-needed week off for spring break! Prior to break, our students continued to push themselves out of their comfort zone, trying new foods, activities and working on more independent tasks.

Our graduates have started their end of program curriculum, pulling together all the resources needed for life after high school. TOPS will have 10 students graduating from our program this year. If you are interested in attending our graduation ceremony, it will be held virtually on June 1st at 5:30pm. Email Kelly Frey,, to be added to the email list to receive the link! 
ID: A group for 5 TOPS students standing outside in front of the Bank of America.
ID: A group of 4 TOPS students at Hannaford.
ID: A group of 3 TOPS students at their volunteer site (Ronald McDonald House)
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 has been learning where some of the Metro bus routes go, and how we can take advantage of using them instead of walking. Bus 4 will take us into Westbrook and stop right in front of KFC where we had time to order lunch and get back to the bus stop on time so we could get back to Bayside to eat lunch for Adventure Day.
By using their skills for their navigation goal, Bayside participants took advantage of one of the nice days and walked up to Munjoy Hill and had a picnic until the wind got to rough so they decided to take the bus back to Metro station and walk back to Bayside.

For their goal in cooking this month, Bayside participants chose a spice of the month which was cumin and mint. Each participant had chance to learn about the culture of the spices and looked for a recipe that each of them were all willing to try. For cumin it was Mexican rice dish and for mint it is a Cucumber mint dip. Everyone enjoyed the new flavors they chose.
ID: Bayside participants and staff waiting for the Metro bus inside of a glass bus stop.
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. 
Spring is in the air here at STRIVE. With that being said we have been going outside more. From trying new trails in Portland and walking on our favorite ones! With the weather being so nice we decided that selfie week was in order. Some of our participants would go out and try new trails and take a selfie while walking on them. It was a great group activity for everyone involved! We still continuing which week volunteering at our favorite spots the Dempsey Center, Ronald McDonald House, and Partners for World Health! These are all great organizations, we are just so happy that we can be part of all the great work that these organizations do! Some of our participants are learning how to safely navigate the METRO by checking out their website. They are learning the different bus routes and what times the bus would come and what bus number they would need to look for. Our participant also got to take a tour of the South Portland Police Station where they got to meet Lt. Bernard! All the officers there were so nice!! It has been a busy start to the spring but we would not have it any other way!
In virtual, we are still learning about the different cultures around the world in our Google Earth group. Learning how to take photos with different angles in our photography group. Every Wednesday we are learning how important it is to stay active in our dance group. We are learning how to take care of ourselves and why it’s important in our self-care group. It is great to end the week with a Field Trip. We get to tour places like National Parks, Zoos, and even farms!  
ID: A group of ACTIVE participants on a tour of the South Portland Police Department. There is a police officer standing with the group.
ID: 2 ACTIVE participants standing in front of a lighthouse.
ID: A group of participants volunteering. Participants are vacuuming and cleaning chairs at a table,
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, ACTIVE & WAVES, please contact Community Support Program Director, Veerle Pottie, at
Wednesday Night Educational Series
We are excited to continue our hybrid model for our May Wednesday Night Educational Classes! Students will have the opportunity to attend virtually on Zoom, from 6-7pm or attend in person from 6-8pm! During the month of May, we will be learning all about employment and job skills and students will get hands on experience writing resumes and practicing interview skills!

If you are interested in attending Wednesday Night Educational Series, please fill out the registration form here.
Image Description (ID): Light pink background with text in red and dark blue. There is a megaphone in the bottom right corner and a speech bubble in the middle with the class information. There are two blue x's and two yellow triangles on either side on the speech bubble.
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. Contact Alex at at  for your link to join class.
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!  

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
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're so excited to bring our Tweens program back in person this month! In May, we will no longer be offering a virtual Tweens options and will instead be meeting at our 28 Foden Road location in South Portland! We can't wait to welcome you back into the building for some fun welcome back activities, crafts, and science experiments!

We've updated our Tweens membership forms and are asking all new and current Tweens to fill out an updated version if they plan on attending in person. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description (ID): Flyer is dark blue with yellow, white, and pink confetti dots along the top and yellow, white, an pink balloons along the bottom. Text is is white and yellow.
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
We've had a great month of STRIVE Nights in April. There has been so much excitement and anticipation waiting for May 6th! If you haven't seen, in May we begin having hybrid STRIVE Nights! Participants can attend in person from 6-9pm or on Zoom from 6:30-8pm. We can't wait!

All members attending in person will need to wear face coverings during STRIVE Night. Also, it is very important to complete your STRIVE Membership form! Forms can be found and completed here. Your form will need to be completed before coming in person- thank you!
ID: Dark blue STRIVE Night flyer. The flyer includes information about in-person and Zoom STRIVE Nights. The flyer also has gold and silver fireworks and confetti for decorations.
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 will meet twice in May! We have a great time checking in with each other, 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 May 5th and May 26th! (We will meet the first and last Thursday of the month due to STRIVE Rocks).

Did you see the exciting news at the top of the newsletter?! STRIVE 25 will be returning in person on Thursday, June 2nd! Starting in June, we will be meeting twice a month - once in person and once on Zoom! We're also asking all new and current STRIVE 25 members to fill out an updated Membership Form. Forms can be found here. Thanks!
Image Description (ID): Flyer is white with blue and pink tie dye and a black border around the outside. 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 team had a great April and had the opportunity to talk to some amazing guests! We got to talk to Mallory Brooks - Meteorologist, Julie Mulkern - Executive Director of WinterKids, Amy Stacey Curtis - Artist-in-Residence at USM, and Maryann Cocca-Leffler and Janine Leffler - authors and disability rights activists!!. 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!
Thank you to our April Donors!
Image Description (ID): white background with a circle of colored flowers in the middle. Text in the middle reads "Thank You".
Lynn Wiest
John and Carol Ann Cagle
Theresa Clifford
Melissa Jensen
William V. Gourde
Meredith Kerr
Layla and Richard Lord
John and Lynda Wilson
Julie Wildes
Estate of Christopher Makrides – In honor of Aphrodite Makrides
Anne and Gunnar Hagstrom
Kenneth and Nancy Pike
Deborah Ward
Judith and Thomas Watson
Robert Doughty Sr
Brian and Maria Segal
E. Gerry and Betty Johnson
Richard and Dianne Baietti
Mark and Anna Cloutier
John Stahl
Drummond Woodsum
Barry Dunlap – In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
John and Catherine McLaughlin
Jane O'Rourke and Frank O'Hara
United Way of Midcoast Maine
George and Harriet Price
James Kilkenny- In Honor of Michael Pallozi
Bruce McFarland- In Memory of “Spadinger”
Edythe L Harnden- In Honor of Carter Harnden
Jeffrey Cohen and Nancy Heiser- In Honor of Zachary Sanborn
Constance Ortolani- In Honor of the Cloutier Family
Thomas Connelie
Jeffrey Scribner- In Honor of Cameron Scribner
Michelle Sirois
Susan Joyce- In Memory of R. Joyce Sr.
Lois and Michael Dennison

... and a huge thank you to all that have 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 May!
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."

Taneka Burwell
 Alexandra Agostino
Jack Rosenblum
Zachary Sprague
Ryan Dufour
Jaydon Leighton
Melissa Goodman
Blake Waterhouse
James Raymond
Mary Burke
Caitlyn Welsch
Nick Watkins
Aphrodite Makrides
Alli Brooking
Member Spotlight
Image Description (ID): Four photo collage of member spotlight, Julia.

Meet Julia! Julia attends our virtual STRIVE Nights and came to our April vacation Camp STRIVE! Her favorite thing about STRIVE is "meeting new people and being part of new adventures!"
Staff Spotlight

YOU could be our next Staff Spotlight!

Thank you to all who made our recent career fair so successful. We will be welcoming a number of new staff in May!

We still have employment opportunities. Be sure to visit our website HERE to see our open positions!
Image Description (ID): Hands holding a sign that says "Join our team".
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.