STRIVE News & Updates

November 1st, 2023


Friday, November 10th

Thursday, November 23rd

Friday, November 24th


Every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm

(No Tweens 11/10 and 11/24)


Every Friday from 6-9pm

*in person and virtual options*

(No STRIVE Night 11/10 and 11/24)


Thursday, November 2nd

from 6-8pm

STRIVE's Annual Auction

In-Person event:

Thursday, November 9th

Online Bidding:

November 9th-16th

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
  • STRIVE Studios
  • Wednesday Night Educational Series
  • Camp STRIVE
  • 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

Save the Date!

STRIVE's 19th Annual Auction

November 9th-16th

ID: Information about STRIVE's 19th Annual Auction. The text is on a dark purple background with a images of green leavesm flowers, butterflies and mushrooms. There are 3 images in total.

STRIVE is gearing up for an exciting night in the enchanted forest at the 19th annual STRIVE auction! Like last year, we will be holding the event in a hybrid format. Infromation on both parts of the event are below!

Join us for our live auction from 6-9pm on Thursday, November 9th at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland. The in-person event will have bidding on our live items, participant speeches, fund-a-need, fun and games and more!

Purchase Tickets Here!

Bidding on our silent items will be online and will be open from Thursday, November 9th- Thursday, November 16th. Take a look at our auction items be clicking the button below. Be sure to check back often, new items are added daily!

See Our Items Here!

It's not too late to get involved! Do you or a business you know have an item or experience you'd like to donate? We accept items right up until the event begins! Contact STRIVE Program Director,!

Thank you to our auction sponsors!

Without them, our event would not be possible!

ID: STRIVE Auction sponsor logos

Questions about the event? Contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney Wildes, at, or visit our auction website at!


ID: A close up of hands holding a sign that says "join our team".

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!

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 Jennifer Boucher at jboucher@pslstrive.orgor at 207-879-0847.

Here's what's happening in our programs!

STRIVE U students have enjoyed celebrating Halloween all month. Students participated in a fall festival on campus where they got the opportunity to sample fall flavors and play games outside. Students also participated in an apartment door decorating contest. Students had one week to decorate their doors to be “spookiest” door on campus. We had a great turn out- every apartment participated! It helped get everyone in the Halloween spirit!  Students are gearing up for the holidays and hosting our Alumni Progressive Dinner @ STRIVE U on November 8th at 5pm. 

ID: door decorated with orange cobwebs and spiders

ID: two STRIVE U students sitting outside with red paper

ID: STRIVE U painting pumpkins

ID: STRIVE U standing in front of a mummy holding a sign

ID: Two STRIVE U students standing outside and smiling

STRIVE U applications for the class of 2026 are now available! If you are interested in learning more about the program, touring the campus, asking any questions, and picking up an application please contact the admissions team at!

Stay tuned for some more information about virtual open houses coming later this fall and winter!

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 or call (207) 774.6278.

Click here for more information about STRIVE U

We at STRIVE WorldWIDE believe everyone should have the power of choice in their lives and the right to accessible education, regardless of potential barriers like location, eligibility criteria, waiting lists, or other barriers. 

 STRIVE WorldWIDE has secured grant funding to offer full and partial scholarships for our online courses on topics related to independent living to individuals from Maine who: 

  • Live in rural areas
  • OR are on waitlists to receive services
  • OR have been labeled ineligible for services
  • OR who are eligible for services but are on program waiting lists due to staffing shortages!

Want to apply for a scholarship for a 2024 course right now?

Step 1: Create a FREE STRIVE WorldWIDE Account by clicking HERE

Step 2: Fill out the Scholarship Application Form HERE

Step 3: Email our scholarship committee at WorldWIDE@PSLSTRIVE.Org and let them know which courses you’d like to try.

Step 4: (The Hardest Part) Wait. Our scholarship committee will review your application and respond as soon as possible and let you know if your application has been accepted. While you wait, you can complete our Virtual Campus Tour and Orientation course, it’s free with your STRIVE WorldWIDE account! 

See you online soon!

ID: STRIVE WorldWIDE flyer with information about the scholarship. There is a picture of the state of Maine as well as the STRIVE WorldWIDE logo..

STRIVE WorldWIDE is STRIVE's online program that teaching independent living skills. For more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE, contact or call


Click here for more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE

October flew by as our student's showed confidence in their abilities to be more independent and have started forming closer relationships within the program. Our students have expanded their community connections, getting a much better feel for what is close by our program space. All of our students work on pre-vocational skills which include having responsibility for a daily classroom job, volunteering at one of our 4 volunteer sites and completing career exploration curriculum. In TOPS, students work on a functional curriculum that supports employment skills including completing job applications accurately, reading through job listings, interview preparation and identifying soft skills that allow people to maintain employment. Our students have worked hard navigating these opportunities and we are all incredibly thankful for the opportunities we have through our volunteer sites to transfer skills into a real work environment.  

ID: photo of TOPS student sweeping

ID: photo of three TOPS students outisde, one is pushing a wheelbarrow

ID: photo of TOPS student wearing gloves and unpacking a box

ID: photo of TOPS student wcleaning a countertop

 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 Ryanne Desjardins, or by phone at 207-879-0847.

Click here for more information about TOPS


As the leaves are changing on the trees, so is our group here at Bayside. Mary G graduated at the beginning of the month and we celebrated her accomplishment by having tacos and playing Halloween-themed Bingo at her request. Congrats Mary!

In other news, EJ has joined our morning group. He has spent the last couple of weeks adjusting to the new routine and getting to know the Bayside staff and peers. Welcome EJ!

A favorite Adventure Day this month was touring Pineland Farm. We got to go through their corn maze and saw lots of animals including cows, goats, bunnies, pigs, a pony, chickens, and even peacocks! We ended the day with a sweet treat from their bakery.

ID: STRIVE Bayside participants and staff sitting/standing together. There are tables, large windows and a couch in the background.

ID: STRIVE Bayside participant standing in front of a dark green wall. There is also a light above him.

ID: STRIVE Bayside participant holding a yellow cake.

ID: STRIVE Bayside participants in a barn. They are petting and looking at a black and white cow.

ID: STRIVE Bayside participant standing on a dirt path in a corn field. He is smiling and waving.

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 met up with the Bayside program to see the award winning planetarium show; Expedition Reef, at the Southworth Planetarium. We learned all about how coral reefs form and how scientists are working to rejuvenate bleached coral. We learned a lot about how important coral reefs are to wildlife and the overall health of our oceans. It was exciting to see sea life up close!

WAVES: This month the city of South Portland invited us to make a scarecrow to be displayed at Hinckley Park! We had a lot of fun assembling the scarecrow, drawing the face, and picking out a STRIVE inspired outfit! Our scarecrow, Brad, can be viewed at Hinckley Park alongside other scarecrows made by other South Portland agencies and organizations.  

ID: participants and staff at a planetarium show

ID: three WAVES participants in front of a scarecrow they made wearing a STRIVE Rocks shirt

STRIVE Studios

Strive Studios has been filling up with lots of art over the past month. Participants have been making art to be sold in the upcoming auction. The paper mache sculptures have been growing in both size and number. Bayside came and glazed mugs that are now fired and ready for use. Lastly we had an in person visit from Mia with the CMCA. 

ID: STRIVE participant holding up a painting she created.

ID: STRIVE participant posing with a life sized scarecrow.

ID: STRIVE participant sitting and smiling at a table. There is artwork in front of him.

For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, ACTIVE, WAVES, and STRIVE Studios, please contact Community Support Program Director, Veerle Pottie, at

Click here for more information about ACTIVE/WAVES
Wednesday Night Educational Series

Wednesday Night Ed students are finishing up their Heathy Relationship Series with two more classes on 11/1 and 11/8. We will then take two weeks off before we start a new series on December 6th - Gratitude & Giving Back!

ID: light pink background with a yellow post it note in the bottom right corner. Post it note says "Thank You" and there is a smiley face

The Wednesday Night Educational Series is held every Wednesday in person 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 $30-$40, 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

Stay tuned for more details about school vacation camps!

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

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

October Tweens was so much fun! We had a great time painting pumpkins, playing foosball, and making our own pinatas!

ID: Two tweens sitting at a table and paiting pumpkins

ID: Four Tweens playing foosball

We can't wait to continue the fall festivities into November! We will have our HalloTweens party on 11/3 and guests from the Osher Map Library on 11/17! We hope to see you there! (There will be no Tweens on 11/10 and 11/24 as STRIVE is closed both of those days).

ID: orange background with darker orange pumpkins in the top right and bottom left corners. There are two green branches with orange leaves on either side.

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 had so much fun hosting a Trivia Night in October! Congratulations to our winning team, pictured below!

ID: there is a black string with pumpkins, bats, stars, and spider webs on the lefthand side. There are black dots in the two righthand side corners.

Due to holidays, STRIVE Night will meet twice in November! We will be hosting a Halloween Party on 11/3 and a Friendsgiving Celebration on 11/17 - what fun! (There will be no STRIVE Night on 11/10 and 11/24 as STRIVE is closed both of those days).

ID: orange background with orange, red, and green leaves and brown branches around the outside. There is a pie in the bottom left and a pumpkin in the bottom right

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

STRIVE 25 celebrated Halloween at the beginning of October with a costume contest and dance party! Check out some of the great costumes below!

ID: STRIVE 25 participant and family members dressed as Bert and Ernie

ID: STRIVE 25 participants sitting at a table eating dinner

ID: Two STRIVE 25 participants dressed up as Super Mario

STRIVE 25 is exited to meet two more times in 2023! Our next one will be this Thursday, November 2nd and then come join us for a holiday party on December 7th! We always have the best time hanging out, playing bingo, and eating a delicious meal together!

ID: light orange background with leaves in all four corners. There is a circle of leaves around the words 'STRIVE 25'

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 September! We chatted with Aaron Libby, from Libby & Son U-Picks, and Billie Watson, Youth Programs Manager with Cultivating Community! We also had fun as a STRIVECast fam and introduced some new segments for Season 6! 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: screenshot of a STRIVECast recording. There are 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!
Click here for more information on The STRIVECast

Thank you to our October Donors!

  • Peter Haynes 
  • Colleen and William Hilton- in Honor of Susie Cloutier
  • Marjorie Murray- in Honor of Emily Murray
  • Henry and Monica Recknagel
  • Martha Ann Savard- in Honor of Barb, Robert and Bobby West

and thank you to everyone that has donated STRIVE's annual auction!

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 Novembe!

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

Joshua Chirnitch

Member Spotlight

Meet Jessica! Jessica attends our STRIVE Night program and her favorite thing is doing karaoke! Thanks for sharing, Jessica!

ID: photo of participant spotlight, Jessica. She is wearing a tie dye shirt and coloring at a tabl

Staff Spotlight

ID: collage of six photos of the employee annual award winners

This month, we wanted to spotlight our employees annual award winners! Congratulations to all!

Above and Beyond: Brianna Meister, Ryan Taylor, Kevin Fitzpatrick

Tom McKeon Leadership award: Veerle Pottie

Bill Hughes dedications award: Sara Brown

Distinguished Service award: Molly Travis

ID Services Employee of the Year: Rufus Mfingi

MH Services Employee of the Year: Dylan Christi

CCM Employee of the Year: Dustin Stevens

Supervisor of the Year: Shannon Emmerton

Employee of the Year: Liam Rademacher

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 ( 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.
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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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