STRIVE News & Updates

November 1st, 2022


Friday, November 11th

Thursday, November 24th

Friday, November 25th 


Friday from 3:30-5:30pm

*in person*

NO TWEENS ON 11/11 OR 11/25


Every Friday from 6-9pm

*in person and virtual options*


11/11 OR 11/25


Thursday, November 3rd

from 6-8pm

*In person*


STRIVE's Annual Auction

In-person kickoff

on November 10th 

Online bidding

November 10th-17th

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
Donate to STRIVE


STRIVE's 18th Annual Auction is coming up on November 10th!

ID: STRIVE's 18th Annual Auction information is in the middle of red, orange, and green leaves and flowers. The STRIVE logo is on the bottom 

We will be hosting this year’s auction in a hybrid format! We will be hosting an in-person live auction Thursday, November 10th at the Elk’s Lodge, where we will have bidding on our live items, the fund-a-need portion of our program, hear from STRIVE participants and more!

Bidding on our silent auction items will take place online on Bidding for Good. Bidding will be open Thursday, November 10th- Thursday, November 17th.

ID: STRIVE's live auction information is in the center. There are ed, orange, yellow, purple, and green leaves and flowers on the top left and along the right side. 

In-Person Live Auction

Thursday, November 10th from 6-9pm

Portland Elk’s Lodge

1945 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04102

$40 per person in advance

$45 per person at the door

*Live item bidding, Fund-A-Need, STRIVE Participant speeches, fun & games, heavy hors d'oeuvres, dessert, cash bar*

Tickets must be purchased for this portion of the event. 

Purchase tickets to our LIVE event here!

ID: STRIVE's online silent auction information is in the center. There are red, orange, yellow, purple, and green leaves and flowers on the top right and along the left side. 

Online Bidding

Bidding open Thursday, November 10th

unitl 8pm, Thursday, November 17th

You can browse our items at 



Items are added daily, so be sure to check back often!


No tickets needed for this portion of the event. 

Begin to browse our items here!

Are you interested in donating to our auction? We are asking for support via a donation of an auction item - a product, experience, gift certificate or a creative idea of your own design. Donors will be acknowledged by having their business website linked to the item that they give, which will be seen to our online audience of thousands of bidders. Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes, at [email protected] if you are interested in donating! 

ID: the logos of auction sponsors are in the center. there are flowers in the top right and a white pumpkin on the bottom left. 

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 November, 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!

Happy Fall from STRIVE U! STRIVE U students have been getting in the Halloween spirit by navigating around Portland to look at all the spooky decorations. The students hosted a Halloween party on campus last week that consisted of dressing up, games, and lots of sweet treats! The students will be carving pumpkins this week to decorate the entryways to the buildings! 

ID: eight STRIVE U students standing outside in front of a large 12 foot tall skeleton

STRIVE U Applications Are Available!

Are you or someone you know interested in STRIVE U? Applications are now available for the class of 2025! Please reach out to [email protected] if you have questions, want to set up a tour, or would like to request an application! 

ID: blue flyer with the STRIVE U logo on the right

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

ID: white background with the STRIVE WorldWIDE logo along the top. The top right says "2023 Schedule" and on the right hand are graphics of a half sun / half moon and a person sitting at a computer screen. 

Unwritten Rules 


Hopefully, by now you know that we have a student social every 6 weeks (in between each of our courses). Our next SWW Social is on 11/1 from 7-8 PM EST and it’s a back-by-popular-demand game night (click here to register)! What if we started to play a game without telling anyone how to play or sharing any of the rules? Wouldn't that game be super hard to play, and even harder to win? Absolutely! This is how some people feel in social situations- like everyone else knows the rules and what is expected of them. In our newest course we're going to try our hardest to explain those rules and talk about what society (the people around us) expects, why they expect what they do, and how they might react if we don't meet their expectations.  


But if I am acting in a way that other people expect me to, won't that make me an actor and not my real, authentic self?  Good question, reader friend! It really might. But here's another unwritten rule: once you know what the rules are, it's easier to choose if you want to follow them or not! We'll pair our discussions about everyone else's expectations of us with some real self-explorations, getting to know ourselves. We'll talk about self-awareness, self-esteem and why it's important to be uniquely you!  


To learn more about these unwritten rules, join our next class, Unwritten Rules: Social Skills Decoded that runs from 11/7-12/11/22. The class meets Tuesdays & Thursdays (via Zoom) from 7-8 PM EST. We are also excited to share our 2023 schedule with all of you! We hope to see you in class soon! 

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

October brings lots of change for our students in TOPS. The group is more comfortable with each other, they have worked on building relationships with peers and staff, and are confident in their routine here. TOPS hosted an Open House, welcoming in current students and their families. The students showed off the space with pride and talked about their successes in the program.  Our students continue to practice skills both in the classroom and in the community, exploring topics like nutrition, health and wellness and community navigation. 

ID: Three people sitting at a table playing Uno

ID: participant sitting at a table with worksheets and a calculator

ID: TOPS class doing chair yoga

ID: six people sitting on chairs  using pedal exercise bikes

ID: Two participants shaking hands while other participants and staff lo

 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, staff and participants welcomed three new faces to Bayside! Colin, Jakob, and Basia joined us just in time to take part in some fall-themed fun. Participants attended an Autumn Festival at Pine Ridge Acres where they were able to shoot potatoes out of a potato cannon, see farm animals at the petting zoo, navigate their way through a corn maze, and enjoy some delicious apple cider donuts. Participants also planned a spooky navigation day. They took the bus from Bayside to Evergreen Cemetery and tried to find the headstone with the oldest date. Participants also decided to research the history of Halloween at the Portland Public Library… Did you know that carving jack-o’-lanterns began in the 19th century, but originally people carved turnips instead of pumpkins? The participants are very excited about the Halloween party they have been planning. It is sure to be a day full of creative costumes, music, games, and tasty treats!

ID: new Bayside participant standing in front of a black wall wearing a blue Yankee shirt

ID: new Bayside participant standing in front of a black wall wearing a red sweatshirt

ID: Five participants standing outside a pig pen

ID: four patricipants standing outside in a corn maze

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

WAVES: This month we took an extended day to Pineland Farms to do their Dairy Discovery Program! Our amazing guide, Emma, showed us how they take care of their cows and the differences between the different cows on the farm. We learned all about how cows are fed, milked, de-horned, and all about the importance of dairy projects in our everyday lives. We even got to visit all of the baby cows! Afterwards we enjoyed a nice picnic and went down to their barnyard to visit the pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, and ponies.


ACTIVE: This month the ACTIVE group went on an extended day to the Fryeburg Fair! There we ate lots of delicious fair food, had a picnic, and walked around. The Fryeburg Fair has over 3,000 animals to visit! We watched horse races, saw the cows, alpacas, pigs, and more. At the Fryeburg Fair we also saw lots of arts and craft vendors such as bead makers, painters, and jewelry crafters. While we were there, we had the opportunity to listen to some live music and looked at the many rides and games.

ID: participant standing and petting a goat

ID: two participants standing in front of a cow statue at the Fryeburg Fair

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

We had a great month of October and learned all about keep our brain healthy! In November, we are looking forward to starting our new series on healthy relationships. In this series, students will learn all about different kinds of relationships, boundaries & consent, technology & relationships, and more! Classes will be taught by Planned Parenthood and The Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program. Students will continue to have the option to join virtually or in person. 

*Please keep in mind that mature material will be discussed in this series*

ID: orange flyer with an image of hands holding a heart on the right

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

More details about school vacation camps coming soon! 

           ID: Camp STRIVE logo in front of blue sky and green grass

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

Happy November! We're ready for another great month of Tweens programming! Because of November holidays and STRIVE's 18th Annual Auction, Tweens will only meet twice this month. Join us on 11/4 for a fun snack craft and then again on 11/18 for fall mosaic making! We hope to see you there! There will be no Tweens on 11/11 and 11/25 as PSL / STRIVE is closed on both of those days. 

ID: light orange background with a large dark orange circle in the center. There are acorns and red and orange leaves around the large orange circle. 

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

Happy November! We're ready for another fun month of STRIVE Nights! Because of November holidays and STRIVE's 18th Annual Auction, STRIVE Night will only meet twice this month. We hope you'll join us for some fun, either in person or on Zoom! On Friday, November 18th we will be hosting a Friendsgiving themed STRIVE Night! There will be no STRIVE Night on 11/11 and 11/25 as PSL / STRIVE is closed on both of those days. 

ID: light gray background with orange and brown leaves around the outside

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 [email protected].
Click here for more information about STRIVE Night

We had so much fun celebrating Halloween twice at STRIVE 25! This month, we will be meeting in=person on Thursday, November 4th. We hope you'll join us for some fun games, delicious food, and a great time with friends! Due to the Thanksgiving holiday and STRIVE's 18th Annual Auction, we will not be meeting on Zoom this month. 

ID: white background with gold archway in the center. On the bottom are two yellow pumpkins, one orange pumpkin, and leaves. 

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

Click here for more information about STRIVE 25

The STRIVECast had a great month of October! We kicked off Season 5 with some new segments from our hosts and some awesome interviews with amazing guests! We talked to Katelynn Davis - Marketing and Communications Director at the Dempsey Center, Lawny Saleeby from Scapegoats, and Lisa King - Yoga Teacher with Sea Change Yoga! We hope you enjoyed listening to these episodes as much as we enjoyed recording them! Do you have a guest idea for an upcoming show? Let us know!

ID: screenshot of a Zoom recording. There are seven squares - six 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 [email protected]!
Click here for more information on The STRIVECast

Thank you to our November Donors!

Barry Dunlap- In Honor of Caleb Dunlap

Paul and Linda Nicak

E.C. and Catherine Sanders

Mark Pietras      

Bonita Betters-Reed & Gary Reed            

June Allen- In Memory of Philip G Harnden

Peoples Choice Credit Union      

Ellen McMonagle           

Peter Haynes     

Ellen DeCotiis    

Sharon and John Rocharz            

John and Carol Ann Cagle            

Raymond and Cindy Stuchbury   

Daniel Reardon and Bernadette Woodcock         

Stephanie and William Scherr     

Clyde Dyar         

Colleen and William Hilton - In Honor of Susie Cloutier

Gary Reed

David Shorey - In Memory of Casey Bouchard

Charles Mercer- In Honor of friends from Lubec, Maine

Robert G Sellin

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 November!

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."

Dylan Aitken

Matthew Libby

George Kampstra

Amanda Thompson 

Joseph Sprage 

Ian Taylor

Dylan Roy 

Elliot Voltz

Hunter Frechette

Hannah Foster

Ben St. Lawrence 

Aiden Rost

Ella Johnston

Justice Sivonen

Eben Raszmann

Kelli Magaw

Member Spotlight

ID: photo of member spotlight, Abby. She is wearing a blue and green top and black pants and is sitting on a bench. 

Meet Abby! Abby attends our Friday Tweens program. She says "I like going to STRIVE because of the activities and hanging out with the other kids". Make sure to say hello to Abby the next time you see her at STRIVE!

Staff Spotlight

Meet Lindsay! Lindsay is an SMCC student who is interning with us this semester! She has been a part of Tweens, STRIVE Night, STRIVE 25, and Wednesday Night Ed. Lindsay says her favorite thing about STRIVE "is the atmosphere, from the day I first started to now I’ve always felt included and appreciated." We're grateful to have you with us, Lindsay! 

ID: A picture of Lindsay. She is smiling

General Announcements
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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