PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

August 1st, 2019
Summer At STRIVE!

Here at STRIVE, we've been soaking up these summer days and enjoying all that beautiful Southern Maine has to offer! Our programs have been traveling all over the area, visiting local parks, beaches, going to Sea Dogs games, and accessing all that our amazing community has to offer in the summer time. Community access is an enormous focus for us, and ensuring that our program participants can learn and continue to be active community members is incredibly important! We are lucky to be able to do so in such a beautiful area.

Check out our program updates below to hear all about the exciting things we've been up to in the month of July, and all the big events we have coming up!

Remember- there are many ways you can become involved with STRIVE! From volunteering in a program or at an event of ours, to making a donation, we would love to have you play a role in the STRIVE Community!

Kevin On The Roof 2019!

We can't believe it's already that time of year again, but we're nearing one of our favorite events of the year...Kevin On The Roof! Our superhero volunteer, Kevin Fitzpatrick will ascend the roof of Patriot Subaru in Saco on September 14th, 2019, just following our 5K Race & Block Party! 

To start Kevin's rooftop stay off right, we'll be having a big kickoff party starting at 6pm on the 14th with pizza from Otto's! We're excited to make this Kevin's biggest and quickest year on the roof yet! Stay tuned for an exciting schedule of events - there will be a ton of games, activities, contests, and of course raffle prizes!

As always, there will be several ways you can contribute to Kevin's efforts! You can come down and make a contribution in person, and let Kevin lower his donation bucket for you! You can also contribute by texting KEVIN to 71777, or by visiting! We're so excited for another big year on the roof -- see you in Saco!
STRIVE 5K & Block Party!

STRIVE For 5/Foden Road 5K & Block Party! Our Annual 5K Run/Walk is Saturday, September 14th, here at Foden Road in South Portland! Our 5K is a flat, accessible course that is great for new runners and lifelong runners alike! Cost of the race is $20 per person up until September 12th, and $30 per person on the 13th & 14th. More details and registration is available  by clicking HERE! After the race, join us for our annual Block Party, hosted by the Foden Road Networking Group! Local businesses will host various booths and activities, from dunk tanks to balloon animals and more! For more information on our 5K, visit our website or contact us at


Our friends at the New Gloucester Eagles #4131 are hosting a Camporee Weekend- August 16th and 17th- benefiting STRIVE! Join them for camping, horseshoes, pig roast, music and more fun all while supporting STRIVE participants. We are so grateful to FOE 4131 in New Gloucester for thinking of us for their "Camping for a Cause" weekend!
See bellow for pricing and a schedule of events- for more information, or to sign up, contact TJ Marston at tjwhitsanborn@yah If interested, please sign up before August 13th.

Friday, August 16th: 
7:30-11:30pm Music from the band "Hot Damn" 

Saturday, August 17th: 
9-11:30am Motorcycle benefit ride 
1pm Horseshoe Tournament 
4pm Pig Roast 
7:30pm DJ Bill Young

Camping w/ Pig Roast: $20.00 per person
Camping only: $10.00 per person
Pig Roast only: $10 per person



Summer spending got you blue? Join us for our Money Management course to help you manage your green! STRIVE WorldWIDE is offering a 5-week online Money Management Course starting September 9 with weekly seminars every Tuesday and Thursdays evening from 7-8 PM. See a STRIVE WorldWIDE course in action --  Complete the technology self-assessment and pre-registration form . Email with any questions!


The STRIVECast had an EXTRA special month in July! This month we not only interviewed one of our biggest superstar-guests yet, Olympic Gold Medalist Joan Benoit-Samuelson, but we also got our very first sponsor of the show! The STRIVECast has 5 episodes coming your way that are all sponsored by Block Brothers Custom Cabinets! We are so grateful to have their support. They're located in Northport, Maine, and can be found online at!  

Coming up in August we have some exciting guests, including Jessica Gagne from News Center Maine! We hope you're enjoying the show. Have a guest in mind you'd love to have on the show? Email us at! We'd love to hear from you.

The STRIVECast is a podcast brought to you by the team at STRIVE in South Portland - 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, edited, and produced by people with disabilities! Episodes can be found on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts, as well as on our website and Facebook page. Like what you hear? Shoot us an email at !

In the month of July we had some really fun Friday Nights, with the favorite of course being our annual 4th of July celebration! Everyone came wearing their best red white and blue outfits, and we enjoyed a big fireworks show on the projector screen at the end of the evening. 

We've been re-modeling our teen center over the past few weeks, and it's been so great to have some new gaming equipment, some fresh paint on the walls, and new furniture to freshen up our space! We are lucky to have such a large and space for our socials and are really excited to be making it look even better in there. Stay tuned for news of our grand "re-opening" in the next month or so!

Coming up in August we'll be holding an event many of our members have been waiting for...Baseball Theme Night! This will be on Friday, August 16th. Come wearing your team's favorite hat or jersey, play some fun baseball themed games... and visit with a VERY special guest from the Portland Sea Dogs! There might even be some Sea Dog biscuits, too!

Friday Nights at  STRIVE , fondly refer red 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 from  6-9pm, with at least one special "theme" night happening each month.  For more information, contact Olivia at

STRIVE 25 is turning 2 years old! Come celebrate our 2nd Birthday Party TONIGHT, August 1st here at STRIVE! We'll be having a barbecue, birthday cake, and of course tons of dancing! Don't miss out on the celebration!

STRIVE 25 is a social event for folks 25 and older, and happens here at STRIVE the first Thursday of each month. For more information on STRIVE 25, contact Caroline at

We've had a busy July with the new students and new second years! The first two weeks of the month were dedicated to orientation where the new students learn the STRIVE U ropes and get to know each other. Students did "goal 101" classes, went on a Duck Boat tour, Lucky Catch Cruise, a Sea Dogs baseball game, STRIVE night and so much more! Orientation is a very busy time and we're so proud of how hard all the students worked on all their goals. All of the students have began their Purdue Global summer workshop classes and are excited for everything they'll learn! 

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 Bill Hughes, STRIVE U Admissions Coordinator at or call
(207) 774-6278.

Camp STRIVE has been having our biggest and best summer yet! It's been amazing to watch campers who haven't seen each other since last summer re-connect and pick right back up where they left off. We've been adventuring all over Southern Maine -- even just to the Yarmouth Clam Festival, Old Orchard Beach, and Funtown Splashtown all in this month!

Our big treat for this summer has been our partnership with Camp Mataponi in Naples. Each Tuesday in July, our group would head out to their camp on beautiful Sebago Lake, and our campers were buddied up with one of Camp Mataponi's campers. Watching the genuine friendships between campers with and without disabilities blossom over the course of this past month has been such a gift - we are so grateful to Camp Mataponi for having us. We ended our first summer's partnership with an amazing day on the lake -- boating, swimming, water trampolining, and with some tears from campers in both programs. But we know it's not goodbye- it's just see you later!

Camp STRIVE provides tweens, teens, and young adults, ages 11-24 a supportive, safe and active program during school vacations and throughout the summer. During each camp session, campers participate in a variety of activities, including community trips, arts and crafts, games, cooking, and of course social time. Camp STRIVE is focused on ensuring that everyone has access to the camp experience. We operate Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Campers are supported at all times by our staff, who have completed PSL Services' full training program and are certified Direct Support Professionals.

This past month, we moved towards change when we said goodbye to the familiar as three of our participants went off to STRIVE U! We moved forward by welcoming a few new faces to our independent living learning program! Welcome Gabby S. and Matthew O.! We start each day with a Round Table Talk, where we work on good manners and social skills by engaging in conversation with each other. In our group sessions, we transitioned from talking about the importance of having good manners at Bayside (and everywhere else!) to working on banking and math skills. We have just begun to discuss how to access and use the bank properly, understanding the differences between deposits and withdrawals, and how to add and subtract using a budgeting book.

Along with working on our weekly goals, which participants choose to work on themselves, we have also begun to celebrate our new Peer of the Month! This month we say congratulations to Jordan C.! Thank you, Jordan, for all of your hard work and positive attitude here at Bayside and beyond! On our traditional Adventure Day Fridays, we have navigated to GoodWill for some good deals, we had a movie and pizza party, and we also navigated to Dunkin' Donuts for a cold beverage on a hot summer day! We also planted some lovely flowers to send over to our recent graduates. We are very proud of our past and present participants for taking what they are learning at program and we all look forward to what next month will bring us!


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

TOPS welcomed 12 new students for Extended School Year services, coming from 6 area school districts. The group started off getting to know each other and practiced community safety around STRIVE. During the second week, the group explored the Eastern Promenade, walked around Mackworth Island, ate wild blueberries along the Saco Heath Trail and played on the indoor turf at The Point community center. The students are finishing up Food week where they budget for and plan a meal, grocery shop and then cook. The students were excited to show off their cooking skills!


Interested in TOPS?  TOPS (Transition Outcomes Program for Students) provides transition programming for high school students who are in their 13th and 14th school year from area school districts. This innovative program supports students to acquire additional independent living skills, provide opportunities to increase independence in the community, prepare students to transition to adult services, and offer experiences that promote social skills with students from other districts. For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison, 207-774-6278.

During the summer months, Next STEP has continued to explore low cost/no cost way to stay fit and remain physically active. For example,  we have been going on a lot of hikes to different places around Portland. Our favorite place so far this summer has been Two Lights State Park! There are so many wonderful places to enjoy in the greater Portland area in the summer!

We are also continuing with our program budgeting each week. We have a tight budget that we work with each week and we use this budget to shop for our snack lab and cooking group. It's been great to work together as a group to figure out how much everything costs as well as looking to see what we have on hand that we can use to create a fun and delicious meal! As we know, using up what we have is a great way to save money!

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. Part-time and full-time options are available.  

Tweens had a quiet but fun month of July! With many people on vacation this month, our groups have been a bit smaller but no less fun! To celebrate the 4th of July, we made fireworks out of shaving cream and food dye! We also enjoyed many of the new games that have come into the teen center. We're excited for a fun month of August! Check out our schedule below.

Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new friendships and learn new skills for folks 11-14 years old. Structured in our Teen Center, 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 Olivia at 

Wednesday Night Educational Series

Our Wednesday Night Educational Series had a great month of July! We learned all about proper manners, in a variety of settings during our etiquette series! Next month we're looking forward to learning all about different health and safety topics. Join us on Wednesday evenings in August for a bunch of different topics - check out our calendar below!

The Wednesday Night Educational Series is held every Wednesday at STRIVE for participants 15-24 years old. Series are between 4 and 8 weeks and topics vary from month to month! For more information about the program or to sign up, contact Whitney at

Active & Waves

Summer is in full swing in Active & Waves! Groups have enjoyed touring local state parks like Two Lights, Crescent Beach and Fort Williams. Just last week we had three special outings, a Sea Dogs game on Wednesday, a fun extended day on Thursday of Disc Golf, and participants got to check out the Adaptive Music Festival at LL Bean's Discovery Park on Friday. At the Adaptive Music Festival participants got to join in a drum circle, practice ukulele, and hear performances by their peers. Looking forward to a great August and continuing to beat the heat!

For more information on PSL Services' Community Support Day Programs, Active & Waves, please contact Emily at
Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!


To all celebrating birthdays in August- we hope you have a great day!

Linda Murray
Tiffany Farides
Ashley Gore
Lucas Bonica
Chloe Britton
Alannah Barrasso
James Raymond
Anthony Mains
Thatcher Kent
Haley Pass
Yasmine Ben-Malek
Averey Flynn
Benjamin Smith
Myles Frederick
Noah McAvoy
Allison Brooking
Andrew Hall
Thank You to Our July Donors

-        Dick & Barb Wigton
-        Harry Pringle
-        James & Andrea Sinclair
-        Anonymous
-        Juergen Renger
-        Ben Block, Block Brothers Custom

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE! With your support we are able to continue what we do each and every day.
General Announcements

We'll be in need for volunteers for our 5K Race & Block Party! If you have interest in volunteering with us, contact Whitney at!

Mark your calendars for these upcoming STRIVE events!

STRIVE 25 2nd Birthday Party- August 1st, 2019
Baseball Themed STRIVE Night- August 16th, 2019
STRIVE For 5 Foden Road 5K: September 14th, 2019
Kevin On the Roof Kickoff Party: September 14th, 2019, 6pm
STRIVE's Annual Auction: October 23rd, 2019

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!