STRIVE News & Updates

May 1st, 2023


Monday, May 29th

(Memorial Day)


Every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm

No Tweens, Friday May 5th


Every Friday from 6-9pm

*in person and virtual options*

No STRIVE Night, Friday May 5th


Thursday, May 4th from 6-8pm


8pm, Friday, May 5th- 8am, Saturday, May 6th

STRIVE for 5: Foden Road 5K

8:30am, Sunday, July 16th

Registration now open!

See below for registration information!

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 [email protected] or call (207)774.6278 to get in touch with a STRIVE staff or program!
Visit our website

STRIVE Rocks 2023!

We are just 4 days away from STRIVE Rocks 2023!

This year’s event will take place virtually THIS FRIDAY (May 5th) starting at 8pm until 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-$499: Receive a STRIVE Rocks T-Shirt + STRIVE canvas tote bag
  • Raise $500-$999: Receive a STRIVE Rocks T-Shirt + STRIVE canvas tote bag + STRIVE portable speaker
  • Raise $1000+: Receive a STRIVE Rocks T-Shirt + STRIVE canvas tote bag + STRIVE portable speaker + STRIVE crewneck 

Be one of our Top 10 overall fundraisers and pick from the amazing prices below!

For those that might not know, STRIVE Rocks is one of STRIVE's biggest fundraisers of the year! We stay up all night (12 hours!) all to support STRIVE! This year, we will be hosting STRIVE Rocks on Zoom as a way to reach even more STRIVE members. Participants collect pledges in order to attend.

The night will be full of special guests, live entertainment and activities, music, prizes, and more! Did you know, we also have a special theme for each hour of the event. Take a look at our 2023 themes so you can start planning your costumes, Zoom backgrounds, and more... those with the most spirit will win the coveted STRIVE Spirit Sash!

We also have some great entertainment and special guests joining us throughout the night!

Are you a high school or college student in need of service hours? You are in luck! You can receive up to 12 service hours for participating in STRIVE Rocks! If you are interested, contact Casey at [email protected]!

Questions about the event?

Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney, at [email protected]!

A big thank you to our 2023 STRIVE Rocks Sponsors!

Our event would not be possible without all of you!

ID: Logos of our STRIVE Rocks Sponsors.

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 [email protected] or at 207-879-0847 x207.

Here's what's happening in our programs!

STRIVE U students are gearing up for the spring semester to end at SMCC. The first-year students have enjoyed learning new kitchen skills and having the opportunity to taste new recipes. The second-year students have been working on their communication skills and practicing public speaking. They are practicing for their big speech which will be at Graduation.

Students are still exploring Portland and all it has to offer! Most recently they got the opportunity to go check out the Portland Museum Of Art. The students loved seeing all the different types and styles of art being displayed there. 

ID: STRIVE U students and staff mixing ingredients in a kitchen

ID: STRIVE U student posing in front of a painting

ID: STRIVE U students and staff standing in a kitchen

ID: STRIVE U student posing in front of a painting

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 [email protected] or call (207) 774.6278.

Click here for more information about STRIVE U

Get Cooking With STRIVE WorldWIDE

Join STRIVE WorldWIDE for a Free Webinar on cooking & meal planning! STRIVE WorldWIDE has been offering accessible online courses to neurodiverse learners since 2019. We want to share our knowledge with you! Please join self-advocates, support staff, case managers, families, or anyone curious for our Free Webinar where we will offer a taste of our full 5-week Cooking & Meal Planning course. If you like the webinar, you’ll love our course. In our full course, we’ll explore meal planning, grocery shopping, kitchen safety, and our Food Lab- a weekly cooking show featuring flexible and accessible recipes and demonstrating entry-level kitchen skills.   

In this webinar, you'll learn: 

  • What is meal planning and how do I do it? 
  • How do I make a grocery list from a recipe?
  • How do I store my food so it is safe to eat?


Attendees will leave with some of our favorite beginner chef recipes to start you on your journey!


This webinar is completely free, so there's no reason not to register! Click here to register for a Free Virtual Seminar session on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Choose from one of three times that is most convenient for you: 

1.      1 PM Eastern Standard Time 

2.      4 PM Eastern Standard Time 

3.      7 PM Eastern Standard Time 

We record our seminars, so if you are unable to join us but want to check it out, email Dr. Anne Ryan at [email protected] for a link to the recording.   

ID: Image for STRIVE WorldWIDES's cooking and meal planning webinar with a graphic of two people - one person chopping tomatoes and one person mixing lettuce in a bowl,. The STRIVE WorldWIDE logo is along the bottom.

STRIVE WorldWIDE is STRIVE's online program that teaching independent living skills. For more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE, contact Dr. Anne Ryan at [email protected] or at
Click here for more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE

April is a quick month for TOPS as the program follows a typical school schedule. Before the break, we wrapped up our new student shadow days, having welcomed in close to 25 students from 13 different schools. 

Our current students are growing in confidence each and every week. As we get closer to the end of the year, our graduates are solidifying plans for life after high school. Simultaneously, our returning students begin to see what it will be like as a second or third year student, proudly guiding the shadow students through their visit. 

ID: TOPS student looking a scavenger hunt list

ID: Three TOPS students standing in front of a wall with art

ID: TOPS students and staff participating in art

ID: three TOPS stduents walking through an alley on a scavenger hunt

ID: Five TOPS students standing in front of a wall that says 'Vans'

 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, [email protected] or by phone at 207-879-0847.

Click here for more information about TOPS
STRIVE Bayside

This month participants at Bayside have been experimenting with new and more challenging recipes on cooking days like air-fried barbeque chicken, homemade breakfast pizza, and broccoli cheese soup. We have also been spending more time at STRIVE Studios to participate in art classes and Dance Ability- which is a new favorite activity for many of our participants.

Staff and participants have certainly been enjoying the warmer weather by spending more time outside. Participants have had fun planning navigation days to the Old Port and exploring Portland in the sunshine. Luckily, Deering Oaks Park is also nearby so we can walk there to play basketball, tennis, and volleyball. For one Fun Friday, the participants challenged staff to a basketball game which was a great way to end the week. Now we are looking forward to May and hopefully lots of flowers brought by April showers!

ID: Bayside participant making sandwiches

ID: Bayside participants playing basketball

ID: Bayside participants and staff participating in art

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 [email protected].
Click here for more information about Bayside

ACTIVE: This month we have been doing Danceability with Spark Inclusive Arts. Our Danceability instructor, Michaela, has been helping us to expand our dancing skills by playing dancing games and teaching us new moves! While there we get to learn more about different types of dancing such as salsa, slow dancing, speed dancing, and social/group dancing! Danceability has helped us to get stronger and healthier, meet new people, and to feel more confident! Dancing weekly is a great way to maintain and improve both our physical and mental health!

WAVES: This month we went to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray Maine! There, we saw deer, bears, lynx’s, beavers, moose, coyotes, and more! We learned all about the parks efforts to rehabilitate Maine wildlife, and their essential role in protecting endangered species. During our day we had a nice picnic lunch and soaked up the sunshine! Afterwards, we walked down to the bird and fish exhibit and to feed the fish. Thank you to the Maine Wildlife Park for having us and for all of the amazing work that you do for local wildlife! 

ID: Participants and staff dancing in the STRIVE Studios Dance Studio.

ID: 2 participants sitting on a wooden bench. There is a wooden fence behind them in green trees.

STRIVE Studios

This month, STRIVE Studios has been busy making artwork in our studio and going out into the community. We've started a new Garageband group, where we've been learning how to create digital music on the iPads, as well as continuing to explore new ways to use paint, drawing, fabric, clay, and more. We've also been going outside more as it's warming up, to collect materials and inspiration from nature to bring back to the studio. Our groups also visited Mayo Street Arts and the Osher Map Library this past month, learning about artwork that was made today and hundreds of years ago. 


In our Movement Studio, we've been busy practicing yoga, dance, and music with 317 Main each week. We love getting to move our body and listening to music with our groups! We are always looking for new volunteers and partners to teach activities and lessons with us, feel free to reach out with any ideas or questions. Opportunities can be a one-time lesson or ongoing. 

ID: A group of participants doing artwork at a large table at STRIVE Studios.

ID: Two participants at the Osher Map Library.

ID: Participant looking at small sculptures on a shelf at Mayo Street Arts.

ID: Participants looking at artwork at Mayo Street Arts. There are also 2 large stained glass windows.

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

Our Wednesday Night Education Series' Writer's Workshop has been such a hit that we are going to bring you part 2 in May! Join us as we continue to explore different forms of writing and put together our own WNES book!

*This will be our final hybrid series, starting in June we will be going to in-person only*

ID: white block in the center with class information. On the left and right sides are color blocks of black, white, and three shades of blue.

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 [email protected].

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

Registration for Summer Camp STRIVE is OPEN! While we are still finalizing the schedule and daily activities, we are happy to share the theme weeks with you! This summer, Camp STRIVE will run from Tuesday, June 20th - Friday, September 1st! Camp runs from 9-5 with full day and half day options. Please check out our website for more information and to register your camper today!

ID: image of weekly camp themes

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 [email protected].

Click here for more information about Camp STRIVE

We're so excited for another fun month of Tweens! We have some tasty treats, fun crafts, and a scavenger hunt planned for May! As a reminder, Tweens will not be meeting on Friday, May 5th but we hope you'll join us for STRIVE Rocks instead!

ID: white background with orange, pink, yellow, and purple flowers along the top and bottom. There are

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 [email protected].
Click here for more information about Tweens

We're looking forward to another fun month of STRIVE Nights! As a reminder, STRIVE Night will not be meeting on Friday, May 5th but we hope you'll join us for STRIVE Rocks instead! Stay tuned for more information about our May Theme Night...coming soon!

ID: white background with yellow, green, and red polka dots along the bottom. There are red, yellow, green, orange, and purple flowers in both top corners.

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 [email protected].

Click here for more information about STRIVE Night

It’s May, yay! STRIVE 25 is excited to meet for another in-person social on Thursday, May 4th from 6-8pm! Come join us for a pasta dinner, fun games, and a great time with friends!

*This month's STRIVE 25 will also serve as our STRIVE Rocks packet pickup* 

ID: white background with pink shapes and black lines in the two left corners and green shapes and black lines in the two right corners. There is a yellow smiley face with a pink border in the middle right.

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 [email protected] or Alex at [email protected]!

Click here for more information about STRIVE 25

The STRIVECast team had another great month and had a lot of fun with our guests! We got to talk to Nola Fennessy from Legal Shield and Jazmin from Dean's Sweets! We also chatted about STRIVE Rocks and turned the tables on our host, Noel with some lightning round questions for him! 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!

ID: screenshor the STRIVECast zoom recording. There are 6 boxes - 5 members of the STRIVECast team and 1 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 [email protected]!
Click here for more information on The STRIVECast

Thank you to our April Donors!

  • Barry Dunlap- In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
  • Michael and Dawn Macwhinnie- In Memory of Peter Sanville
  • Donald and Mabel Rogers- In Memory of Peter Sanville
  • Samantha Leavitt
  • Knights of Columbus Maine State Council
  • Kristin and Michael Rowe- In Memory of Peter Sanville
  • Robert and Judith Letarte- In Memory of Peter Sanville
  • Sonja Bathras- In Memory of John (Jack) Maller
  • David Caldwell- In Memory of John (Jack) Maller
  • Thomas and Matthew Hood
  • Brad and Betsy Morrison- In Memory of Peter Sanville
  • Wagner Drywall, Inc., - In Memory of John (Jack) Maller
  • David and Cynthia Barnard

...and a huge thank you to all of our generous STRIVE Rocks donors!

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 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

Mary Burke

Caitlyn Welsch

Nick Watkins

Aphrodite Makrides

Alli Brooking

Madeleine Joyce

Bella Joyce

Damian Thress

Mary Burke

Molly Snowden

Sally Alexander

Lauren Chapman

Eric Hughes

Landon Rideout

Member Spotlight

Meet Landon! Landon attends our Friday Tweens social and has also been doing a great job fundraising for STRIVE Rocks! His favorite things about STRIVE are "coloring, egg hunts, and board games!"

ID: photo of member spotlight, Landon He is standing and wearing a green shirt that says 'STRIVE Rocks' and glasses.

Staff Spotlight

ID: photo of staff spotlight, Doug. Doug is standing outside and holding a brown and white dog.

Meet Doug! Doug works in our Community Support program! Dug's favorite part about STRIVE is "helping participants explore their creativity at STRIVE Studios, and also air hockey". Thanks, Doug! We're grateful to have you!

General Announcements

Registration is now open for the 2023 STRIVE for 5K: Foden Road 5K and Block Party! This year's event will take place (Rain or Shine) Sunday, July 16th at STRIVE! A Kids Fun Run will begin at 8am with the 5K following at 8:30am. Registration is $25 until 04/16 and increases to $30 until 07/14, so register early! For more information or to register now, visit our website HERE!

ID: 5K runners starting the road race. They are running through an inflated blue and white arch that says "start" with the STRIVE logo.

ID: Participants (children) who participated in the Kids Fun Run. They are standing and smiting in a group under the inflated blue and white arch .

The STRIVE for Five: Foden Road 5K is hosted by the STRIVE Business to Business Networking Group, a collection of business leaders from the Foden Road/Maine Mall district of South Portland (business leaders from surrounding communities also welcome). Foden Road Networking Group members are invested in supporting the local economy and residents through business-to-business fellowship, culminating in the annual 5k/Block Party. If you would like to be involved in this year's event, contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes at [email protected]!

Beach to Beacon bibs available!

STRIVE has Beach to Beacon bibs available for this year's race! All we ask is that runners fundraise a minimum of $350 on behalf of STRIVE. For more information, or to claim your bib, contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes, at [email protected] or 207-774-6278!

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 ([email protected]) or Whitney ([email protected]) 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 [email protected] 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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