PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

November 1st, 2017
Adventure Awaits, November 8th!


We are exactly ONE week away from Adventure Awaits- our 13th Annual Auction! 400+ live items and 13 silent items, our Adventure-Themed auction has a wide array of Maine-based items, international destinations, and everything you'd need to adventure around the world (or country!) and back again. All of the proceeds from our auction support our programs and our members'  adventures through the programs and services of STRIVE. 

Interested in promoting your adventure-themed or Maine-based organization in front of a captive audience? Sponsoring Adventure Awaits will deliver your brand to a receptive community including an estimated 600 attendees, and mailing list of 5,200. For more information, please call our office at (207) 774-6278 or email

Join us on Wednesday, November 8th from 6-9pm at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland, ME.

For tickets, a sneak-peek of items (constantly being updated!) and other event details, please visit .    


STRIVE U Students are in the Halloween spirit!  Recently, the students have been busy planning their Halloween costumes, decorating their apartment doors and planning a spooky Halloween party on campus for current students and alumni. It's been a fun time of campus during this season!

STRIVE U Students have taken the initiative to showcase their social planning skills by planning a Halloween party on campus. The students have held meetings to discuss what they would like to have in the party, including food, decorations and activities. Several of the students have also been practicing their money management skills as they stick to a budget when purchasing decorations and enough food for the party for all who attend.

STRIVE U applications for the Class of 2020 are now available! The deadline for applying for admission for June 2018 is February 1, 2018. STRIVE U is a comprehensive two-year residential,  post-secondary educational opportunity. To learn more about the program, schedule a tour or get an application, please contact Bill Hughes, STRIVE U Admissions Coordinator at or call (207) 774-6278.


This month, TOPS students learned about how self-determination can lead to a high quality of life.  Students identified their strengths and areas of growth, along with narrowing down some short term and long term goals.  The students are making more decisions throughout their day to day activities and are working toward effective self-advocacy.  As TOPS moves through the school year, students gain more autonomy, control over their activities and build up confidence as they make these decisions

The students have worked hard over the past two months learning their current classroom job positions as they settled into the fast-paced routine of TOPS.  Looking ahead, the students will be applying to new classroom jobs soon which will lead to more skill building, a different routine and the introduction of the classroom economy.  The classroom economy will allow students to earn a "paycheck" for their time in TOPS each week, which will start their TOPS bank accounts.  Those accounts will be used when students have activities that could include spending money, which they would withdraw when appropriate. 

Interested in TOPS? TOPS, Transition Outcomes Program for Students, provides transition programing for high school students in their 13th and 14th school years from area school districts. For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison,  

To keep up to date with TOPS and all they do, follow us on Facebook for our #TOPSTuesday posts!  

Next Step

October in Next STEP has been busy with curriculum, volunteering, and fitness!! Next STEP also got a great opportunity this month- they were asked by Patriot Subaru to come and help them with an event called Bathe to Save. The event is to help Animal Refuge League raise money for animals in need. The Next STEPpers helped the customers by showing them how to register their pet, get their dogs picture taken, building a collage of doggy footprints and helping with making the pets look great by putting bandanas on them after their bath.  It felt great to give back to the community!

For curriculum this month we learned about World Culture. The Next STEPpers learned about African Cultures, Asian Cultures, and the Charmorro Culture. They ended the month by learning about the different cultures we have in the United States. Several of the participants chose to write a report summarizing what they had learned about a culture. On participant even wanted to delivered his learnings to the group!

For fitness and exercise, the Next STEPpers started a new fitness training regime. Every other Friday Next STEP will be doing circuit workouts, where they learn different ways to work out their whole body.


Next STEP is a great option offering quality curriculum for those who are on a waiting list for other services, in combination with other services or for those who may not qualify for other services.  Please contact Betsy Morrison at  or  207-774-6278  if you would like more information regarding Next STEP or would like to schedule a tour.

Every day Bayside participants meet for Learning Group. We use this time to touch on a variety of topics, and this month was dedicated to cooking skills. We started by practicing cooking skills to decide who was ready to cook some harder recipes! From there we practiced new cooking techniques, using new appliances and tools. Everyone went on a fun adventure day of apple picking, and then used them to make homemade apple sauce! To cap off a fun filled month of beefing up our cooking skills we hosted a Halloween party where the participants planned and made all of the food!
At Bayside we work on a LOT of different skills, cooking is just one of them. If you're interested in learning some awesome independent living skills, come check us out!
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, 9:00-1:00and 1:00- 5:00. We offer full time (Monday- Friday) and part time (Tuesday, Thursday -or- Monday, Wednesday, Friday) options. 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: Caroline Cole at 774-6278 or


STRIVE Night has been having some amazing Friday nights! On October 20th, we had two members of the amazing local band Hello Newman come do an acoustic set for us. They played some of our favorite 90's and 2000's hits with some awesome lights to make their 'stage' look awesome! Hello Newman continues to be a great friend to STRIVE and we appreciate their support! 

We had an amazing Halloween theme night, with SEVENTY-ONE participants coming and filling up the STRIVE center! We had a packed house with some amazing costumes, great food, fun games and only a few scares. Thank you to all of the volunteers and STRIVE staff members who contributed to making the night such a success. 

This Friday, we'll be having another local band come and perform for us! The Moosetones are a Portland based bluegrass band, and we can't wait to dance along to their songs.


Coming up we'll be having our November Harvest Festival on Friday, November 17th! See you there!

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 welcome, and your first night is free! STRIVE Night is every Friday from 6-9pm. For more information, contact Olivia at

Tweens had a very fun and exciting month where the tweens could express their creativity. We had a blast roasting pumpkin seeds, paining mini pumpkins, and dressing up for Hallowtweens! STRIVE will unfortunately only be open for two Fridays in November, but our two Friday's should be tons of fun.

Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new skills and friendships for 11-14 year olds with developmental disabilities. For more information, contact Alex at

Wednesday Night Educational Series 

The students in the Wednesday Night Educational Series are having a great time learning about what is appropriate in all their different relationships. We really enjoyed having speakers come in to talk about consent and help educate us on the importance of STD prevention. 

We'll be continuing our Healthy Relationship Series in November, with YAAP coming in to talk about internet literacy and the different types of dating abuse.

  For more info, contact Alex at

Camp STRIVE will be offered this month on Wednesday, November 22nd for those looking for programming while school is out! Camp will run from 9am to 5pm with the option of an early drop of at 8am for an extra $10. The cost of camp is $45 for the day. For more information, contact Olivia at

After School

After school has been extra busy this month, cooking tons of delicious new snacks, getting out and enjoying the fall weather, and making art for STRIVE's auction! The group has been really bonding well as we work on individual and collective goals. As the weather gets colder, the group will be coming up with creative ideas on how to spend their afternoon at various indoor locations, as well as how to keep it fun and exciting hanging at STRIVE. 

STRIVE's After School Program provides an opportunity for students to participate in an engaging extension of their typical school day that reflects their individual, family and school goals. During each afternoon, students work on skills that support self-determination and independence, as well as spending time socializing with peers in a relaxed environment. After School runs Monday through Friday from 2pm-5pm during each student's respective school district schedule. For more information on After School, contact Olivia at

Aktion Club 

Aktion Club just had their annual Halloween Bake Sale, with delicious treats baked by the amazing Judy Sarapas! Thank you Judy! The bake sale raised $27.60 for their sponsored Holiday Family. In November Aktion Club will be turning in their collected Soda Tabs to the Ronald McDonald House, as well as collecting winter coats for their annual Coat Drive.

The next two Aktion Club meetings will be:
Wednesday, November 1st 
Wednesday, November 15th

For more info, drop by one of our meetings! They begin at 3:15pm in the big conference room here at STRIVE.

Staff Spotlight

Meet Chadd! Most of you know Chadd by now, and if you don't you've definitely spoken to him on the phone if you've called STRIVE, or benefited from his hard work if you've ever spent time in our building! Chadd is STRIVE's Office Manager, and this month marks his 15th Anniversary working at STRIVE! Chadd works tirelessly day in and day out, making sure our office stays on it's feet and everything runs smoothly! In addition to working regular office hours, Chadd volunteers his time every Friday as part of the STRIVE Night staff. Whenever there's a problem, or if a staff member is looking for something, Chadd is always the first guy we ask. On top of all of this, he also volunteers his time at each and every STRIVE fundraising event, which, as we know, can involve some late nights and early mornings!

Chadd, thank you for all you do for STRIVE and all you've done these past 15 years, you are an incredibly valuable asset to the team! If you see Chadd around, be sure to give him a big congratulations on his 15 amazing years here at STRIVE.
Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!

Ben St. Lawrence  
Nicholas Jipson 
Rebecca Dietlin 
Ashley Ellis 
Jonathan Tingley 
Karen Welling 
Jevyn Neves 
Tad Hugo 
Caitlin O'Brien
Alexis Cote
Deborah Burgess
Justin Faulker
David Goodell Jr.
Dylan Aitken
Savannah Mooney
Matthew Libby
Ted Prescott
Eben Raszmann
George Kampstra
Amanda Thompson
Cole Hansen
Hunter Frenchette
We hope you have a great day!
Thank You to Our Donors

-          Kiwanis Club of Portland
-          Daniel Reardon & Bernadette Woodcock
-          Anne Parkham
-          June & Robert Doughty
-          Gloria Lamiette
-          Eagle Point Donor Fund of the Maine Community Foundation
-          Paul & Laura McGrath
-          Cloutier, Conley & Duffett
-          Ansel & Gloria Jean Stevens
-          Scott Waldron
-          William Gourde
-          Joseph Madore

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE!

General Announcements

-STRIVE will be CLOSED Friday, November 10th for Veterans Day.
-STRIVE will be CLOSED November 23rd AND 24th for Thanksgiving.
-We are still accepting donations for our Auction! If you have any valuable items you would be willing to donate, please contact Whitney at
-We are looking for volunteers for numerous STRIVE programs and events, including our Auction, Tweens, and Wednesday Night Educational Series! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Whitney at


STRIVE Auction-  Wednesday, November 8th @ Italian Heritage Center
Camp STRIVE- Wednesday, November 22nd 9am-5pm

Has your Mailing Address changed recently?
Have a new Mailing Address to add?

We are updating our mailing list, and want to make sure we have all our supporters on there. Email to send in your updated information so you will continue to receive our electronic and print newsletters!

Members, you will be asked to complete an updated information form upon arrival to tweens or STRIVE Night. Want to get a head start? Go to our website to send in your contact information today!