STRIVE News & Updates

October 1st, 2022


Every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm

*in person*


Every Friday from 6-9pm

*in person and virtual options*


Thursday, September 1st

and 22nd

from 6-8pm

*In person October 6th,

Virtual October 20th*


STIRVE U Open House 

Saturday, October 1st

from 10am - 2pm

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 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 in November!

ID: STRIVE's 18th Annual Auction ad. The flyer is different shade of purple and includes event information as well as logos for our Presenting sponsors- SunLife and Bangor Savings Bank.  

We will be hosting this year’s auction in a hybrid format! We will be hosting an in-person kick-off event 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.

STRIVE’s 18th Annual Auction


In-person kick-off

Thursday, November 10th from 6-9pm

Portland Elk’s Lodge

1945 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04102


Online Bidding

Open Thursday, November 10th-17th

You can browse our items at

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


More information on both portions of the event coming soon!


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 if you are interested in donating! 

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 October, 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!

September was a busy month at STRIVE U and students started classes at SMCC. We're looking forward to watching the students learn and grow as the semester goes on! 

ID: students and staff standing and kneeling in front of Southern Maine Community College


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

Are you interested in learning more about STRIVE U? We will be holding an in-person open house on Saturday, October 1st! Drop by to learn about the program, tour the campus, and meet current students and staff. Applications for the class of 2025 will also be available.

If you are unable to attend the open house, but are interested in learning more, please contact the admissions team at to set up a visit! 

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

ID: pink background  of a stage with red curtains and chairs. Yellow star with microphone in the center

The Greatest Show On Earth! 


Every six weeks, between our STRIVE WorldWIDE classes, we host a SWW Social. This month’s social was a Talent Show & Tell, and boy was it amazing! You can check out the highlight’s here to see... 


  • Donna sing an emotional rendition of God Bless America 
  • Lucas rock out to Fire Lake by Bob Seger 
  • Amanda share her stunning artwork 
  • Anne show off a really old plant 
  • Rebecca share her artwork 
  • Marie show off her adorable greyhound, Mable 
  • Jorge share a photo from his 25th (!!) anniversary trip 
  • Marie share a story about winning first place in an art show! 
  • Sara show off the incredible game she’s building 
  • Donna share her beautiful artwork 
  • Lucas singing Just a Song Before I Go by Crosby, Stills & Nash 


If you are interested in learning more about our classes or joining us for Emotional Intelligence, 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
Click here for more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE

September flew by as we jumped into a new school year, welcoming 25 students from 9 different sending schools. Our students are a split of new students and returning students, allowing for our returning students to lead and new students to have peer mentors to guide them.


This month was all about settling into our routine and getting to know our area and each other.  We started exploring modes of transportation, getting to know our local Hannaford and using our classroom spaces to role play community scenarios. As we continue on in the school year, we will explore more forms of exercise, different foods and community activities. 

ID: classroom full of TOPS students holding up whiteboards

ID: Participant standing outside at an apple orchard

ID: Three participants standing outside, in front of a sign that says "Scarborough Wildlife Management Area"

ID: participant standing inside holding a plate of food

ID: Participant standing in front of the salad bar at the grocery store

 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, or by phone at 207-879-0847.

Click here for more information about TOPS
STRIVE Bayside

Wow! How fast was that summer we had; we are already gearing up for fall. On September 12th we had 3 new participants join us, so we would like to welcome Jakob, Colin, and Basia to our program. Their peers have been mentoring them in all the goals that we work on here at Bayside. Cooking is still everyone’s favorite goal! This month the participants have been focusing on how to use the Metro and getting familiar with the transportation app UMO to plan their routes. For an Adventure Day, they took Bus 4 into Westbrook to the new shop called Crumbl Cookie and bought yummy cookies. The banana cream pie flavor was a big hit! We certainly try to balance hard work with fun rewards here at Bayside.

ID: Bayside participants on sitting on the bus


ID: Bayside participants, each holding a pink cookie box, at Crumbl Cookie

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 the ACTIVE group went on an extended day to the Desert of Maine! There we had the opportunity to explore 20 acres of Maine's only desert. While we were there we got

to check out the natural playground and storybook walk. We even had time to do a fossil dig and look for gemstones! Afterwards we had a picnic lunch and played a round of mini golf at the golf course nearby. Learning about the history, geology, and ecology of Maine was a lot of fun!


WAVES: With fall approaching, we decided to visit Randall Orchards to do some apple picking!

While we were there we picked lots of apples for our baking group, enjoyed the beautiful

views, and looked at all of the different varieties of pumpkins. Afterwards, we got to take a

sneak peak of the cider making process. We watched as they picked the apples and pressed

them. They even allowed us to take a peak inside of the cider mill. We finished the day by

having lunch and drinking some delicious cider!

ID: Participant opening and coming out of a door to a small wooden house

ID: Two people with their faces in the cutout holes of a large wooden apple and one person standing next to the apple

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

We had a great month of September learning all about Self Expression in our Wednesday Night Educational Series and we got some hands on practice with creativity and creating our own art and writing pieces! 

In October, we are looking forward to starting our new series on Brain Health! In this series, students will learn all about brain function, brain fitness, and stress management techniques! Students will continue to have the option to join virtually or in person. 

ID: dark blue background with a large pink circle on the left side. In the bottom right corner is a silhouette of a head and neck with a pink brain inside it

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

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

Click here for more information about Camp STRIVE

Happy October! We're ready for another great month of Tweens programming! We have a busy and fun filled month and are excited to welcome back our furry friend, Woodrow as well as do some crafts, make some tasty treats, and celebrate Halloween at our HalloTweens party! We hope to see you there! Tweens is free and meets every Friday from 3:30-5:30. 

ID: purple background with spider webs in the upper corners. On the bottom of the flyer are two ghosts in party hats, two orange leaves, two carved pumpkins, and a skull lollipop

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

Happy October! We're looking forward to another fun month of Hybrid STRIVE Nights! We'll meet every Friday in October and members are welcome to join us on Zoom or in person! We are also excited to celebrate Halloween with a STRIVE Night Halloween Party on Friday, October 28th! We hope to see you there - wearing your favorite costume!

ID: light orange flyer with yellow, orange, and red leaves along the top and the bottom right. In the center is information about the theme night with a red and white tent above and two tickets on the left. 

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
Click here for more information about STRIVE Night

It's spooky season and STRIVE 25 is celebrating twice! We will meet at Foden Road on Thursday, October 6th for an in-person Halloween Party and we will meet on Zoom on Thursday, October 6th for a virtual Halloween Party! We hope you'll join us for some fun games and a great time with friends! Costumes highly recommended!

ID: orange background with spider webs in the top left corner and both bottom corners. There are three purple bats, a spooky tree and a pumpkin with a carved face 

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 or Alex at!

Click here for more information about STRIVE 25

The STRIVECast had a great September! We checked in with our Sound and Video Engineer about his honeymoon, talked to Kevin on the Roof as he celebrated his 10th year of rooftop fundraising, chatted with Emma Davis - Principal Dancer with the Maine State Ballet, and spoke with Stephanie Clement of Friends of Acadia! September also marked the end of Season 4 - we can't wait for what Season 5 will bring us! We hope you enjoyed listening to this season as much as we enjoyed recording it! Do you have a guest idea for an upcoming show? Let us know!

ID: screenshot of a Zoom recording. There are 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!
Click here for more information on The STRIVECast

Thank you to our September Donors!

Debra McPhail

Terrance and Mary Sheehan

Charles and Susan Roscoe

Jeanne Fernald - In Memory of Lindsey Mae Allard

Warren Mechanical, Inc. 

John and Lynda Lawrence

Jennifer Schiel

Allan McHale

Bruce and Karen Watson - In Memory of Bill Hughes

Lorri Day - In Memory of Nick Vaughan

Mary Anne Fillyaw

Ann Marie Dubois

James Kilkenny - In Honor of Michael Pallozzi

Edythe Harnden - In Honor of Carter Harnden

Margaret Wilson

Shared Living Options, LLC

Linda Lamberson

Rogow - Plavsic Family Fund

Linda Carew

Alex Schwartz

Jon Wine

Ben and Laura Metivier

James and Andrea Sinclair - In Honor of Stephanie Sinclair

Jennifer Poore - In Honor of Marston Poore

Mary and Peter Hess - In Honor of Susie Cloutier

Kurt and Kelly Stokes

Lea Foley

Patricia Pochepan

Richard and Bridget Whiting - In Honor of Cully Whiting

Anna and Mark Cloutier - In Honor of Susan Cloutier

... And a BIG thank you to the many Kevin on the Roof 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 October!

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."

Aaron Hornbeck-Fielder

Ted Prosack

Thomas Woodman

Matthew Archer

Angie Tourigny

Andy Tao 

Alice Stevens

Kayla Campbell

AJ Bryant

Sarah Doughty

Jacob Roberts

Thorin Wagner-Peck

Patrick Cook 

Ryan Jones

Benden Bouchard

Iseyik Harper

Bryant Lindsey 

Breanna Parenteau

Juniper Butler

Emily Whalen

Chloe Fisher

Member Spotlight

ID: photo of member spotlight, Sawyer. He is standing outside with his service dog, Emmitt. 

Meet Sawyer! Sawyer attends STRIVE Night and our Wednesday Night Educational Series! Sawyer "loves everything at STRIVE Night, especially Karaoke!" 

Staff Spotlight

Meet Abby! Abby is our WAVES Community Support Coordinator. Abby says "“There are so many amazing things about PSL/STRIVE that I have been loving, but my favorite part of my day is standing at the door to sign in and welcome participants to program. I love having that time to check in and to get to know everyone. Over the past two months I have acquired a deeper understanding of the amazing internal and community based work that PSL/STRIVE staff and participants do. It is so wonderful to be part of a program that serves the Greater Portland community through volunteerism, and a team that cares deeply about the work that they do” Thanks, Abby, we're grateful to have you!

ID: A picture of Abby. She is seated on grass, smiling at the camera

General Announcements

Kevin on the Ground!

ID: Kevin is kneeling next to a whiteboard, pointing to the total raised and the number of hours he had been on the roof

He did it! After 175 hours (over 8 full days), Kevin successfully met, and exceed, his goal of $60,000! This year, Kevin raised $64,069 for STRIVE! All of these funds will go directly back into STRIVE programs and will create new opportunities for tweens, teens, and young adults with disabilities throughout our community

We couldn't do it without YOU! Thank you to everyone who donated to Kevin's efforts this year! We are beyond grateful for your support! 

ID: The top photo is the four members of the ground crew wearing party hats. The bottom photo is Kevin on the roof with his arms raised and wearing a party hat

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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