PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

January 1st, 2020
Happy New Year From STRIVE!

STRIVE had an amazing 2019!
Thank you to all that supported us in one way or another! We wanted to share a few of our favorite highlights from the past year.

What were some of your favorite STRIVE memories from 2019?

                                     The class of 2019 graduated....                                                       .....and the class of 2021 moved in! 

                 STRIVE Rocks had it's biggest fundraising year yet!                               STRIVE held it's 15th Annual Auction! 

               Camp STRIVE and Camp Mataponi created a new partnership!       Kevin camped on the roof again, raising over $45,000!

Some much needed updates were done to the Teen Center!     STRIVE's newest program, STRIVE WorldWIDE, was created! 

We've had so many great times this year, we wish we could fill the newsletter with them!

We're excited to see what 2020 has in store!

STRIVE's 20th Anniversary Gala! 

Join us as we celebrate 20 years of STRIVE!


Saturday, January 25th, 2020
Portland Sheraton at Sable Oaks
200 Sable Oaks Drive, South Portland

Tickets: $40 per person
$10 per STRIVE member/alumni

Host Committee and
Sponsorship opportunities are still

For more information,
contact Whitney at or visit  our event website

Thank you to our event sponsors!

Congratulations to our 2019 Award Recipients!

Volunteer(s) of the Year: The Cloutier Family
Business of the Year: Bangor Savings Bank
STRIVE Participant Volunteer of the Year: Rob Mendillo
"Volunteered" of the Year: Anna Wildes
Distinguished Service Award (Individual): Donna Roggenthien
Distinguished Service Award (Organization): The Lunder Foundation

Save the date! STRIVE Rocks 2020!

STRIVE Rocks 2020 is on it's way! This year, STRIVE Rocks 2020 will be held May 2nd and 3rd  at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

STRIVE Rocks is broken into two parts, STRIVE Rocks ALL DAY (10a-6p, May 2nd) and STRIVE Rocks ALL NIGHT (8p, May 2nd to 8am, May 3rd). STRIVE Rocks ALL DAY is a family friendly festival. STRIVE Rocks ALL NIGHT is held immediately after STRIVE Rocks ALL DAY and is an opportunity for young adults of all ability levels to socialize together. 

During both portions of the event, the Cross Insurance Arena is filled with music, inflatable bounce houses and games, interactive activities, main stage performances by local artists, and more! More information on the event to come soon!

We are looking for high school students to participate in STRIVE Rocks ALL NIGHT. Contact Whitney at to find out how to get your school group or team involved!


STRIVE WorldWIDE is... Worldwide!
STRIVE's newest online program, STRIVE WorldWIDE, had big aspirations from the start. As the name indicates, our goal is to be worldwide. We have had lots of interest in our program from the start, but much of our interest and participants have been from the east coast, and all have been from the US. On December 17, we hosted three open house sessions (all online) with participants signed up from all over the United States and Canada. The blue states on the map are where folks joined from--we had almost all 50 states represented, with our largest groups of participants coming from Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Florida, Maine, California, Michigan, Illinois, and Canada!! We are officially worldwide (or at least international)! What country do you think STRIVE WorldWIDE will reach next?


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 207-879-0847.
We had a great month of episodes here at the STRIVECast in December! We interviewed Cheryl Sessions from Portland Housing Authority, Brandon Merry of the Maine Adaptive program, Ray Ruby from the Maine Cancer Foundation and celebrated the new year! One very special guest was Tom McCollum, who is the goalie of the Maine Mariners, Portland's hockey team. Tom also played a role in donating 4 Maine Mariners season tickets to STRIVE through the 'Goalie's Who Give' Program! Thanks, Tom! 


Do you have someone you'd like the hosts of The STRIVECast to interview? Let us know! Contact Pete, Whitney, or Olivia with your guest ideas!
We can't believe it, but we are now on to Season 2 of The STRIVECast! Need to catch up on episodes? You can hear all of our episodes on our social media pages, our website, iTunes, Spotify, or wherever else you download your podcasts!

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!Like what you hear? Shoot us an email at !

STRIVE25 had a great holiday party at the  beginning of December! We did some festive  holiday crafts, enjoyed meatball subs for  dinner, played some fun holiday games, and ended the night with everyone's favorite-  Bingo!

Just a reminder, there will be no STRIVE25 in January. We will see you again Thursday, February 6th for our Valentine's Day themed STRIVE 25!

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 kicked off the Holiday season with our annual party at Purdue University Global in Lewiston. It was a fun time learning about Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza. We played trivia games, had a scavenger hunt, played dreidel and made some holiday
decorations. After all the fun and games we ate lunch and got some PG swag! Thanks to Mimi and Glen for making such a fun holiday party for us!

We want to welcome our newest student, Kerrigan to STRIVE U! Kerrigan is joining us a little later than the other students and we're excited to have time to get to know her and teach her the ropes of STRIVE U.


More exciting news from STRIVE U!

Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) and STRIVE U (SU) have entered into a new partnership for SMCC to offer programming that will provide vital skills training for SU  students. SMCC and STRIVE U signed off on a memorandum of understanding in January month that will provide programming for 14 SU students starting this summer.  Participating SU students will take part in orientation sessions at SMCC to introduce  them to college life and make them feel at home on campus. Students will then take two courses in the Fall Semester and two more in the Spring Semester on Professional Presence,  Microsoft Applications, Customer Service and Interpersonal Skills. 

We're so excited for this new partnership!


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 Olivia Fraioli, STRIVE U Admissions Coordinator at  or call
(207) 774-6278.
After School
One of the ongoing and fun activities that the After School participants enjoy is cooking. As we know, cooking is an important skill to have as one thinks about leading as independent a life as possible. Whether it's learning how to make popcorn safely in the microwave, using a blender to make smoothies or cooking items for dinner the skills and experiences that students gain are invaluable...and yummy!

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. After School runs Monday through Friday from 2pm-5pm during each student's respective school district schedule. For more information on After School, contact Betsy at!

This past month, our Bayside crew moved our focus to Time! We've worked on telling time, keeping track of time, and creating an overall culture of being conscious of the clock since it is important in virtually everything we do. With our first snow of the year making its appearance and knowing that being out in the community is an important part of meeting our goals here at bayside, we began discussing and implementing what it means to be appropriately dressed for winter weather. If you look outside our door you will see snow boots and inside is filled with winter jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves. We are officially prepared for the winter months approaching!

Our big project of the month has been planning our Christmas party. We've dedicated our fun Fridays to going to Five Below to buy gifts for our Yankee Swap and preparing the food menu! Although we have had a blast getting in the Christmas spirit, we had an amazing opportunity to get active with Maine Adaptive. We traveled over to Foden Road where our participants were able to play pickle ball and check out the other adaptive sports they have to offer. We look forward to meeting with them again!

With the New Year just around the corner, the thought of endings and beginnings can be a common theme. This month we are saying goodbye to a long time Bayside friend, Sarah Bean. She has successfully completed her stay here at Bayside, and though we will miss her dearly, we wish her nothing but success and happiness on her future endeavor! 

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

This month, the students participated in activities that allowed for more in-depth problem solving and decision making with various hands-on,  practical components. One group used  Hannaford as their classroom as they explored the produce section learning how to pick out fresh items according to their ripeness, appearance, aroma and texture. Later that week, the same group then had a taste-testing activity to try out various foods they hadn't tried. 
TOPS made a MESS this month! The students were able to make a mess, literally, and learn how to clean it up. One group explored the different messy areas as detectives, having to decide what it was that was spilled and hypothesize how they would then clean it up based on the location and item spilled.  To end the month, TOPS attended a field trip at the Apple store in the Maine Mall where the students used new technology to create various forms of artwork.



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.
We are beginning to schedule visits for prospective students for the 2020-21 school year! For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison, 207-774-6278.


To continue our curriculum regarding safety, in January, we will be discussing safety in the home. With this in mind, we will share some strategies for how to be safe while in your home. Some questions we will discuss will be: What should we do if someone knocks on our door? What should we do if our smoke detector goes off? Do we have the necessary supplies if the power goes out? Do we have phone numbers of folks we can call if we need to or feel unsafe? As one of Next STEP's program goals is to
support people to be as independent as they can be, this information is important to know.

For the past 3 months Next STEP has had the opportunity to have two wonderful interns join our program. Lisa and Alexis assisted with all aspects of Next STEP. They supported workouts, curriculum, and even went volunteering with us! This month we said goodbye to our fantastic interns. We wish them best of luck in their future!

We currently have full and part-time openings in Next STEP! 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.


December has been a great months for Friday Nights! We had our annual holiday party, complete with a visit from our friends from the North Pole - Santa and Mrs Clause! As always, the holiday party was catered by our friends at Anthony's Italian Kitchen. Thank you, Anthony's!

In January we'll be having our New Year's celebration! This will be held on January 3rd... see you there!

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


Tweens is trying to keep warm this winter, even though we have some COOL (get it?!) activities planned. We'll be playing Winter bingo, making snowman cupcakes, and playing freeze dance, among other winter fun!

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, or Whitney at

Wednesday Night Educational Series

STRIVE's Wednesday Night Ed students focused on an important topic in the months of November and December- Healthy Relationships! The students learned about friendships vs. romantic relationships, boundaries, consent, relationship safety, and more. STRIVE was fortunate enough to have Planned Parenthood's Education Program Manager, Olivia, come to teach each class each week. Thanks, Olivia! 

We will be starting the new year out on the right foot, focusing on exercise and wellness during the month of January! We'll learn about different types of exercise, what each exercise does to our bodies, and practice the different types of physical fitness we learn about!

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

To kick off the winter season here at ACTIVE and WAVES, we got to celebrate not one but two holidays! We gave thanks to each other at our annual PSL/STRIVE Thanksgiving feast, and then exchanged gifts at Foden Road's Christmas party in the month of December. To wrap up the month and to celebrate the coming of the New Year, we will be attending a Red Claw's game for this month's extended day trip! We also had the wonderful opportunity to explore Maine Adaptive when they came to visit us at Foden Road. They offered a number of sports and physical activities for our participants to partake in throughout the day. Thank you Maine Adaptive!

To say the least, ACTIVE and WAVES have been busy with a number of activities and events this year, and 2019 has been yet another successful year. We have kept busy with holiday parties, extended days, and just our regular run-of-the-mill days! We look forward to what the new year brings us!

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 who are celebrating birthdays in January- we hope you have a great day!

Emily Murray
Brittany Bean
Owen Wolterbeek
Jordan Young
Sumner Ellis
Nicholas Cataldo
Nathaniel Rines
Peter Tarling
Leeann Brionez
Marshall Noyes
Jacob Benvie
Lindsey Foster
Destiny Lemire
Ryan O'Donovan
Cera Ann Lane

Thank You to Our November Donors!


Scarborough Surgery
Elizabeth Allaben & Matthew Chambers ~ In honor of Lucas Houk
Susan Bouton - On behalf of Sally Bouton Englehardt
David Sherman Jr. & Martha Burchenal
Hartley & Benson Webster
TD Beach to Beacon 10K, Inc.
John & Carol Makrides
Portland Chamber of Commerce
Muriel and John Bouchard- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
Ruth Ann Klein- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
Tammy Meyer- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
Anne and Greg Carlson- In Memory of HenryBouchard
Sydney Alberg- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
Karen Thelin- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
Mary and Ronald Kocher- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
Runyon Kersteen Ouellette, P.A.- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
Peter and Anita Elsham- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
Brookmere Condominium Association- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
John Cotton- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
Bruce Kigour, DMD- In Memory of Henry Bouchard
John B. Rogers
Shoshana and Jeremy Bannett
Tracy Welsch
Ellen Nussbaum
Jessica Creedon
Sandra Livingston
Jamie Curtis
The Joyce Family- In Memory of Thomas Robinson

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE! With your support, we are able to continue our work each and every day.
STRIVE Member Spotlight 

Meet Matthew! Matthew is one our of  newest Next STEP members. Matthew 
enjoys being out in the community while in Next STEP. When he's not at program, Matthew enjoys going to stores (especially to find new comic books!), playing on the computer or with his video games, and  listening to music. Matthew's biggest goal for 2020 is to find a job.

The next time you are at STRIVE, be sure to say hello to Matthew!

STRIVE Volunteer Spotlight 

Meet Alexis and Lisa! 

Both  Alexis and Lisa spent their fall semesters in a number of  different programs at STRIVE. Alexis spent her time planning and attending STRIVE's Wednesday Night Educational Series, planning and facilitating Tweens activities, and attending STRIVE Night. Lisa spent the majority of her time in STRIVE's Next STEP Program.

It was so great having Alexis and Lisa with us for the past 4 months. We will miss them and hope they come back to volunteer with us again soon! Thank you, Alexis and Lisa!!


                                          Lisa                                                                             Alexis  (Center) 

General Announcements

Mark your calendars for these upcoming STRIVE events!

January 25th:  STRIVE's 20th Anniversary Gala
February 1st: STRIVE U Application Deadline
February 18th-21st: Camp STRIVE
April 20th-24th: Camp STRIVE
May 2nd and 3rd: STRIVE Rocks Weekend! 

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!