PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

February 1, 2017
STRIVE Holiday Closings

STRIVE will be closed  Monday February 20, 2017

Snow Day at STRIVE U

The STRIVE U students are transitioning back into their routines on campus after a busy holiday season. They started a new semester at Kaplan University and are eager to begin learning all that their courses have to offer. They have been hard at work accomplishing their residential goals and focusing on their learning groups.

Thus, it felt like a well-deserved break when both their Kaplan classes and community support were cancelled due to inclement weather, imposing an unexpected Snow Day. The first and second year students enjoyed the STRIVE U Learning Group on campus, where they illustrated their ambitions and goals through a fun art project. After class, the students gathered for a "mandatory meeting" held by the Student Life Coordinator - which ended up being an entertaining game of Bingo! They enjoyed winning fun prizes while socializing with their peers. Afterwards, the students relaxed in the student lounge and watched a movie on the projector. It was a memorable snow day at STRIVE U! 

STRIVE Rocks Takes Portland by Storm

STRIVE will be tabling in the community to increase awareness of our programs, and the upcoming STRIVE Rocks All Day and STRIVE Rocks All Night events. Look for us  at The Maine Mall 2/19-2/24 10-5, or at the Cross Insurance Arena during the Maine State Basketball Tournament during February Vacation! 

STRIVE's Program and Outreach Coordinator is resting her vocal chords after speaking with countless community schools, clubs, and local businesses! As a result, young adults from across Maine are already starting to pre-register and fund raise.  Please help us build momentum by signing up today , and sharing your fundraising page with your network. 

Aktion Club stuffed registration packet envelopes to be mailed this week to all of last year's STRIVE Rocks attendees. If you did not attend 2016 and would like to be added to the mailing, contact us anytime. Envelopes  are also available at STRIVE.

STRIVE Rocks appreciates your recommendations so far on business sponsors, which have kept us on track for sponsorship goals. We have 6 weeks to go and a few sponsorship opportunities still available, so please continue to spread the word. Deepest thanks to partners who have already committed funds towards our 2017 overall event goal of raising $100,000 :
Title Sponsor: Wex
Presenting Sponsors:  MEMIC, Anthem Blue Cross, Cross Insurance
Gold Sponsors: Idexx, Kiwanis
Silver Sponsors: Rowe Westbrook, Town & Country, KFC, Northeast Delta Dental
Media Sponsors: Coast 93.1, WGME
Major In-Kind Gifts: Hannaford, Blast Party Rental, Coca-Cola of Southern ME, Get Air!, UPS, The Maine Mall

Next STRIVE Rocks All Night Planning Committee Meeting:
Perfect for any student wanting to see how an event gets planned.
New members welcome, counts as community service hours.
Wednesday, February 8th, 5:30-6:30pm
28 Foden Road, South Portland, ME

For More on STRIVE Rocks
Stefanie Millette at or call (207)774-6278.

Fridays 6-9pm
Got the winter blues? We've got the cure! 
TWO theme nights in one month!

February 10th - Valentine's Party
Celebrate the friendships that warm our hearts!  Special activities, hot chocolate & chili dogs

February 24th - Hollywood Night
Costumes welcome!
Come dressed for the big screen with the costume of your favorite movie character (Indiana Jones, Muppets, Storm Troopers, Elvis, anything goes!)
OR come dressed for the red carpet, in what you'd wear if you were a movie star attending the Oscars!
Hollywood Night will be presented in partnership with Take Action Portland  , which  coordinates 
volunteer projects for young professionals through
which they can engage in the community. 

STRIVE Night Staff Changes
STRIVE has internally promoted two of its superstar staff.   Cam Provencher  has been promoted as Team Leader of STRIVE's Home Support team. 
Olivia Fraioli
has been selected to steer the Friday Nights program moving forward, with experience including leadership in the TOPS classroom. Congratulations, Cam and Olivia!  

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! For more information, contact Stefanie at or 207-774-6278. 

Tune Into Tweens
Fridays 3:30-5:30

February's Tweens programming kicked off onbirthday_dog_party.jpg
February 3rd with a Birthday Party for Fin the service dog, attended by fellow service dogs and handlers of the organization Gooddogz. Here's what's in store for the next three Fridays!
February 10th - Fun with Unum (craft and activity hosted by a Unum volunteer)
February 17th - Valentine's Party
February 24th - Fun with Science (STEAM Stations)

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 Michaila McCloskey at m or call (207)774-6278.
Bayside on the Bus

As you may know, STRIVE Bayside is run out of an apartment in downtown Portland. The apartment and location together make for a perfect environment to simulate independent living! While we are within walking distance of almost everything one would need, there are times we want to navigate to places too far to walk. When this happens, we take the bus! Learning the different busses, routes, stops and the ins and outs to bus etiquette can be difficult but it is something we practice at least once a week! Knowing how to use the bus independently really helps those without a driver's license to explore a much greater area surrounding their communities!
STRIVE Bayside is a unique community supports program that is dedicated to exploring and increasing independence. A sample of 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, 9:00-1:00 and 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. We currently have openings in our morning and afternoon sessions. If you would like more information about our program, or to schedule a tour please contact: Caroline Cole at 899-1725 or

January Happenings in Next Step

For curriculum this month, Next STEP has been talking about safety. We started by talking about personal safety, including internet safety, and then worked on strategies for how to be safe in the community. We also took the Metro to downtown Portland (pictured, right) and while in downtown Portland we talked about where the safe places are to go if they were in danger in the community. We determined that either the Police Station or the Fire House would be very safe places.  As a culmination to our safety unit, we will be visiting the local fire station where we will meet with a firefighter who will work with us on fire safety.

At the start of the month, we had developed New Years
Resolutions  as a team, one of them being to learn more  about budgeting. Throughout January we worked together on a program budget. Moving forward, e very week Next STEP will be  getting a weekly budget of 30 dollars. From that, we are to budget for food lab, snack lab and anything else we might like to do during the week. We will keep track of our weekly expenses and save any money that we have left over and put it into our "savings account". Over a period of time, when our savings have reached a certain point and we are ready to spend it, we will work together to choose a community leisure activity. It's been fun to see our savings grow!

Next STEP offers 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.  Contact Betsy Morrison at or 207-774-6278 if you would like more information regarding Next STEP or would like to schedule a tour. Part-time and full-time options are available. 

A Mid-Year Reflection from TOPS

Th e TOPS students started preparing for graduation this month! With only four months to go, their Final Projects are coming together and they will soon start their graduation speeches.  One of these proud graduates is Thatcher K, featured in our portrait below. He comes to TOPS every afternoon from Cape Elizabeth High School. Thatcher has matured greatly and is learning something new each and every day. He  recently led a meeting of 12 people, advocating and planning for his future. We look forward to seeing him continuing to grow through his graduation in June and beyond. Keep up the great work, Thatcher!  

If you would like to see what TOPS is up to every week, please email Kelly Frey at to be added to the Weekl y TOPS Newsletter, 
STRIVE TOPS serves students from school districts who are in their 13th or 14th year of school. If you have questions or would like more information about TOPS,please contact Betsy Morrison at (207)774-6278 or
All's Cool In After School 

After School's  month of January consisted of Self-exploration week, Art week, History week, Heritage week and Family week. We focused on these weekly themes while still working on goals such as Budgeting, Navigation, Socialization, Kitchen and Community Safety, Motor Skills and Exercise. 

After seeing the successes of other programs' bake sales, the After Schoo l group is hoping to host a miniature version of their own! If you have unopened cake and cookie mixes at home, we'd love to put those to a delicious use!

If you believe your student could benefit from this program please contact . 

Wednesday Night Educational Classes
Select Wednesdays, 6-8pm

The next series will focus on 
Transitioning to Independent Living.  This is such a big topic that we've split it up into 6 Wednesdays across 2 months: February 8, February 15, March 1, March 15, March 22, March 29

This series helps provide teens and young adults with the basics skills that come with living independently. Highlights include: intro to independent living from STRIVE Transition Specialist, meal planning, cleaning basics and personal care, intro to guardianship, and protective self-defense with Prevention. Action. Change.   Cost of this special 2 month series is $30

Upoming Series (April): Computer Skills 

Register with Michaila at 207-774-6278 or  m m  . 

Volunteers at STRIVE : Chloe's Experience

Chloe Mead has been a familiar face at Friday Night Socials. From the first time she attended she jumped right into conversations and games, and our members enjoy having Chloe here at STRIVE.

Q & A with Chloe Mead 
How did you become involved with STRIVE?
This October I became involved with STRIVE through a class at USM that had a service learning component.  I decided to continue coming because it was so much fun.
What makes you keep coming back?
There is nothing like walking into STRIVE and being greeted by members and staff who have smiles on their faces. I get a sense every time I come to STRIVE that I am valued and that my time there is important.
What is your background outside of STRIVE?
I am in school studying Health Science and moving onto Occupational Therapy in the Fall, which I balance with a part time job . I've connected with STRIVE members as a Celtics fan, proud pet owner, and swimmer.
What advice would you give future volunteers?
I would tell future volunteers to embrace the joy in the room during Friday Nights. There are times when life is stressful, and you will need a de-stressor. When I am at STRIVE, I am able to focus on the positive, relax and have fun.
Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members

Deanna Kelly
Alexander Cormier
Linda Donovan
Consta Granade
Jonathan Keeley
Brittany Williams
Joshua Monk
Bryton F
Candace Johnson
Shane Saucier
Emma Campbell
Harrison Snyder
Kevin Banks
Abby Spiller
Paris Nalevansky
Tricia Penney
Justin Douglas Browne
Sean Lewis
Nick Hubel
Rebekah Kropp
Andrew Scott Ryan Deschambault
Nathaniel (Nate) Hall
Andrew Michaud
Zachary Krohn
Jessica (Jess) Luciano
Arianna Bulger
Lucy Pedersen

Thank You to Our Donors

Christopher Quinn
-        John McKernan & Olympia Snowe
-        Tom McKeon
-        Lee Jones
-        Pete and Anne-Marie Brown
-        Shoshana Bannett
-        David & Diane Rivard
-        Cynthia & Lawrence Vaughan
-        Marc Keffer
-        Karen Stray-Gundersen
-        Kay Hamlin
-        Carol Niles
-        Rita O'Brien in Honor of Ryan Barnes
-        Nick & Lefco Poulos
-        Evelyn & Stephen Whelen
-        Rosie Saffer-Meng
-        Lily Saffer
-        Cyrus Hagge
-        Laurie Cavanaugh
-        Capital Servicing, Inc.
-        Jennifer & John Pulvino
-        Rachel Morin in Honor of Emma Campbell
-        Glenn & Doris Meehan in Honor of all students from Westbrook High School
-        Majorie Twombly
-        Jeffrey & Alison Nathanson
-        Ray Mathew
-        Hartley & Benson Webster
-        John & Denise Palmer
-        Courtney Campbell
-        John & Susan Peters
-        Kevin & Karen Lefreniere
-        LIBRA Foundation
-        Arthur & Constance Baton
-        Paul Campbell in Honor of Ryan Barnes
-        Mary & Tom Albright in Memory of Ruth Frawley
-        Michael & Kelly McCarthy in Memory of Ruth Frawley
-        Friends at Berkley Accident & Health in Memory of Ruth Frawley
-        Joyce Corey in Memory of Ruth Frawley
-        Marston School Teachers in Memory of Ruth Frawley
-        Emery Waterhouse in Memory of Ruth Frawley
-        Lynne Rademacher in Memory of Ruth Frawley

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!