PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

June 3, 2019
Beach To Beacon Bibs Still Available!


We still have a few Beach To Beacon bibs left! Are you or is someone you know interested in running Maine's most popular road race? Let us know! In exchange for the bib, you'd be fundraising for STRIVE, and we'd even supply you with your own STRIVE Beach To Beacon t-shirt! To claim a bib, contact Whitney at!
STRIVE Pride Day

Each May, all Foden Road programs come together for a big day of spring cleaning, called STRIVE Pride Day! Together, we each take on various projects of cleaning, organizing, and re-arranging our space. We take lots of pride in our programs and all we do, so we always want to make sure our space reflects that! This year, we totally re-arranged our Art Room to make way for more program space, created a new Art Supply Closet, deep cleaned the Teen Center, cleaned out our fax room, planted flowers and more! We capped off the afternoon with a large barbecue out back, and a giant raffle full of fun prizes! Foden Road has looked sparkling-clean ever since. 


June is here...and so the countdown to Camp STRIVE begins! Camp starts this year on June 17, and runs through August 30th. Register your camper today by filling out our application -  click here!

We will be hosting a Summer Camp Open House on Thursday, June 13th here at STRIVE. We encourage all campers and families to attend to meet our new counselors, pick up your Camp STRIVE t-shirt, see our Camp space, and pick up a hard copy of the summer schedule! An online version of the schedule will be released on the same day.

We are so excited to announce that this year we will begin a partnership with a Camp in Naples, Maine, called Camp Mataponi! Once a week in July, our campers will be able to spend a day at their camp facility and access all that they have to offer- including swimming in their lake, their pottery and cooking spaces, their ropes courses and more. Campers will also be matched to make one-to-one friendships with their campers. We can't wait for all this partnership has in store for us, and are so thrilled for this opportunity!

For any questions about Camp STRIVE, contact Olivia at or by calling 207-774-6278.

Camp STRIVE provides tweens, teens and young adults, ages 11-24, with a supportive, safe, and active program during school vacations and throughout the summer. During each camp session, campers participate in activities including community trips, arts and crafts, games and physical fitness, cooking and of course social time! Campers are supported at all times by professional staff who have completed PSL's full training and are certified Direct Support Professionals. 

We've had such a fun months of interviews here on The STRIVECast! In May, Jeff, Noel, and Susie got to sit down with TWO reporters from Good Day Maine, a former MMA fighter, a representative from the Maine Chapter of the Special Olympics, and STRIVE's very own entrepreneur, Eric Hughes! Eric runs his own pizza cart, called Eric's Pizza Express, down on Commercial Street in Portland! We loved chatting with all these fascinating guests, and hope you'll have as much fun listening to them as we had recording them.

Would your business or organization be interested in advertising on the STRIVECast? We would love to promote your brand on our show! Contact us at - we'd love to work with 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 !
Face Paint Help Wanted!

Are you a talented artist? We are looking for some volunteers to help us do some face painting at the Bug Light Summer Movie Series in July! Each summer we provide the face painting booth at this fantastic community event. If you or someone you know would be interested in helping us face paint next month, please let us know! Contact Whitney at 

Join us Thursday, June 6th, for STRIVE 25's Annual BBQ! Kick off summer with games, food and fun!

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

This has been a month of transition at STRIVE U. The second year students have moved into beautiful new apartments in Portland and South Portland (one of them pictured below), and the first year students are quickly approaching their new roles as the leaders on the STRIVE U campus. Even though the second year students are living in their off campus apartments, that doesn't mean they're done with their STRIVE U responsibilities. Everyone is still expected to complete goals with staff in their new apartments, do morning and night logs, navigate to and from class AND navigate to and from work. Our students are busy, but it is well worth the work because in less than one month they'll officially graduate from the program!

In other exciting STRIVE U news, the second year students completed their presentations at the Lewiston Purdue Global campus! Highlights from each student included: Hearing Krista's fantastic story about the moment she heard she got into STRIVE U (she was in Old Orchard)! Hearing Romil's favorite quotes and seeing pictures of his very clean bedroom (even though he says it isn't always that clean). Seeing all of Owen's great photos especially of his meal preps. Hearing about Dylan's work experience at Drummond Woodsum, and seeing pictures of Dylan and his peers in the community. Hearing about Molly's journey though STRIVE U- she started off nervous, but she can't wait to live on her own now! And seeing photos and explanations of all the people who supported Bridget through her time at STRIVE U. Congratulations on your presentations everyone! 

A special congratulations to Ashley, Kevin and Krista who all received Academic Awards from Purdue Global!

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.


Here at STRIVE Bayside we kicked off May by learning about "May Day," the celebration of spring and flowers. We discussed what countries have the largest celebrations, and watched a brief video of a May Day parade.

Ramadan began on May 6, so we learned about this Muslim tradition.  Ramadan is relevant to us since two of our primary Logisticare transportation companies are "Jubba" and "ARWO," and many of the drivers practice the traditions of Ramadan and look forward to the end of the month feast called Eid-as-Fitr.

For Mother's Day, we created painted cards with touching sentiments on the bottoms.
For cooking this month, we worked on making Italian sandwiches, smoothies, turkey taco salad, tuna casserole, creamy garlic chicken with pasta, and stuffed French toast!
For our adventure days, a big hit was a trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken! The event was of real significance since one member here at Bayside works part-time at KFC.  For another May adventure day event we did a scavenger hunt in Deering Oaks with a focus on the significance of Memorial Day. We concluded with Dunkin' gift cards and ice cream! 
Looking ahead to June - three of our Bayside participants will leave us in June for the STRIVE U program. We will miss them, but realize a thrilling experience awaits!

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 John Fehleau at

May was an eventful month for TOPS! We held our 2019 Graduation Ceremony for 9 of our students. Each student was tasked with writing and reciting a speech, which they each did with confidence. Our graduates are off to begin life after high school, some attending community support programs, some working part time and others looking into post-secondary education opportunities. Starting this summer, TOPS will welcome potentially 20 new students for the school year! TOPS will be coordinating with 10 different school districts, including 2 new districts.

Along with TOPS, STRIVE will be partnering with area school districts to run our Emerge summer experience program again this summer. Emerge is a three week extended school year program for students to work exclusively on social pragmatics and executive functioning 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.

With the weather getting nicer, the Next STEPPERS are beginning to enjoy being outside again! We have been taking the METRO to new places such as Deering Oaks Park where we choose between walking or playing an outdoor game together. So, in turn we are integrating transportation skills with health and wellness all at the same time! We also had a great time attending a spring Sea Dogs game last month. This was one of the nice days that we had in May!
Also in Next STEP we continue to work with a program budget. We have a certain amount of money to spend on program activities each week and then if there is money left over from the budget we move that to our "savings account". Keeping our budget in mind, we have been very creative with finding healthy recipes utilizing what we have in our pantry so we can save as much as possible. With the savings that we have, we will be able to choose as a group what we want to use the money for. We can either use it to get something special that we need for the program or something fun that we can do as a group. This certainly allows us to practice our negotiation and compromising skills!


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.  

May was an awesome month for STRIVE Nights- we had some pretty packed houses this month with all of the rainy evenings! Our theme night this past month was our Annual Luau, and it was such a blast! From limbo contests to beach ball games, we made a rainy evening feel like a tropical paradise.

June's theme night will be Outer Space themed! Join us for the fun on Friday, June 21st.

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 had so much fun in May. Our USM Intern Emily came up with fun crafts for us to do each week, and we capped off the month dancing the afternoon away with our friends from Portland Youth Dance! This month, our Volunteer of the Year, Perry, has put together some great activities for us to enjoy! 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 E ducational Series

May was a fantastic month for Wednesday Night Ed! We had our largest class we've had in a while - TEN students joined us and we cooked ourselves up a storm in our Culinary Creations course! With two chefs and a nutritionist joining us in our first three weeks, we utilized all that we learned for week four and made ourselves an awesome meal of mac & cheese and salad! Thanks to all who came in to volunteer their time this month for our class.

In June we're so excited for our Great Outdoors series! Check out the schedule and topics 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

After School

After School had a great month of May! Though we had a ton of rainy afternoons, we still managed to stick to our routine and head into our favorite places in the community, as well as continue to work on our cooking skills here at STRIVE. We can't believe we only have a few weeks left of the school year...where did the time go?!

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  
Active & Waves

As we inch our way toward summer, participants have enjoyed getting outside more and switching up their program activities. Participants have been playing disc golf, going for park walks, playing outdoor games, geocaching, playing basketball, and golfing! They also pitched in with some important spring cleaning on STRIVE Pride Day. Participants organized program areas, tended to the garden, rearranged spaces, and then kicked back and enjoyed a program wide barbeque.


For more information on PSL Services' two day programs, Active & Waves, please contact Emily at
Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!


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

Colby Padulo
Emily Bell
Charlie Saffian
Caleb Dunlap
Matthew Piper
Ashley Low
Tiffany Filinger
James Belanger
Morgan Adams
Alexander Doyer
Courtney Houde
Erica Boivin
Joshua Small
Elijah Johnson
Keegan Neddenriep
Breanna Parenteau
Thank You to Our Donors

-        Steven & Michelle Sirois
-        Gary Reed & Bonita Betters-Reed
-        United Way of Eastern Maine
-        Janet & Dominic DiBiase
-        New England Fitness & Athletics
-        Intermed
-        David B. & Edward C. Goldstein
-        Kenneth Geiger
-        Wendy Russell
-        Craig Decker & Susanne Fetherold
-        Kevin Foley - In Memory of Philip
-        James Kilkenny - In Memory of Michael Furey
-        Lisa Gorman
-        Stephanie Scherr
-        Michael & Lynn Spadinger
-        Janet & Michael Collins
-        Ellen Decotiis
-        Karen Coston
-        Amy Meehan

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

Mark your calendars for these upcoming STRIVE events!

STRIVE 25 BBQ- June 6th, 2019
Camp STRIVE Open House- June 13th, 2019
Outer Space Themed STRIVE Night- June 21st, 2019
Camp STRIVE First Day- June 17th, 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!