PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

June 1st, 2018
Emerge- STRIVE's Newest Program!

Introducing.... STRIVE's Emerge Program!
A Three Week Extended School Year Experience  for Middle & High School Students

July 30th-August 16th: Monday-Thursday, 12:00-4:00

STRIVE is pleased to announce its newest collaborative program to interested school districts. Emerge is an extended school year service for middle and high school students to support the maintenance of skills in executive functioning and social skills instruction while offering opportunities to transfer skills to other settings through natural experiences within the community. The program will be based out of our STRIVE Center, 28 Foden Road in South Portland. Students are recommended for the program through their IEP process.
Calling all students:
-          Who are in middle & high school      
-          Who may function fairly well academically but who struggle
            with daily social interactions.
-          Whose social skills will regress over the summer
-          Who are willing to participate in the program
For more information, please contact:
Betsy Morrison, STRIVE's Transitional Services Manager
207-774-6278 or

This past month at Bayside, our participants navigated to many new places they had never been to before. During the winter months, our participants focused more on bussing to get around to new destinations, but now that it is warmer, they are practicing navigating by foot! During the month of May, Bayside participants navigated by foot to the Portland Ferry Terminal, Holy Donut, J's Oyster, Back Bay, and many other places. Because they got to check out Holy Donut from the outside, the morning participants chose to get donuts as their next Adventure Day activity! 

As for learning group, we have continued to do lots...and lots...and lots...of math every Tuesday and Thursday! Our trips to the library have involved finding information from new resources. Each trip to the library, our participants have to find a nonfiction book, fiction book, autobiography, newspaper, or magazine, and then tell a little information about it just by the title and summary. This is teaching our participants new ways to find information other than word of mouth and social media. For our next Adventure Day, our participants are looking forward to going mini golfing, which will be a new experience for a few of our participants! We also can't wait to take the ferry out to Peak's Island for some yummy ice cream!

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, 9:00-1:00and 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. If you would like more information about our program, or to schedule a tour please contact: Caroline Cole at 774-6278 or 

May was a great month for TOPS! As our school year started to wrap up, our group took advantage of the nice weather and spent some time together doing leisure activities. By far, the favorite trip was to the Seadog's Game!

When not out in the community, our students prepared for their graduation and worked with their teams to finalize their transition plan. Our students each come to us from an area school district which collaborates with STRIVE, case management, vocational rehabilitation services and other support services to support our students through this process.

On May 29th, ten students graduated from TOPS! Each student has an individualized plan and we are happy to say that 7 of the graduates will continue to access a PSL/STRIVE Program! Congratulations, again, to all of our graduates! We can't wait to hear all about their adventures over this first year out of school.

STRIVE TOPS serves students from school districts who are in their 13th or 14th year of school through an experiential, transition-focused curriculum. Students are recommended for the program through their IEP process. If you have questions, would like more information or to schedule a meeting regarding TOPS,  please contact Betsy Morrison at (207)-774-6278 or .  
Next Step

With the weather finally getting nicer, the Next STEPPERS have been going on lots of great hikes. We have been everywhere from Yarmouth to Old Orchard Beach. One of the places that the Next STEPPERS loved was the Cascade Falls trail in Saco. It is a beautiful 1.5 mile walk through the woods that leads to the Cascade Falls. Taking walks and hiking is a great way to support our goals of health and wellness.

Also continuing with the outdoor theme, Next STEP worked with Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan University) for the third year to plant our community garden! This year we chose to plant cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, basil, broccoli, and strawberries. Next STEP can't wait for everything to grow so they can make a nice summer salad. Let's hope the groundhog will stay away this year!

With the seasons changing and getting nicer weather, Next STEP thought it would be a fun idea to learn about the weather and how meteorologists get their information. Every week we have been working on something that can tell us about the weather. We made a thermometer, wind vane, anemometer, rain gauge, and barometer. After everything is all made Next STEP is going to put it all together and make a weather station!

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.

STRIVE 25 had a great Cinco De Mayo celebration in May, and are so excited for our Summer Kickoff BBQ happening next Thursday, June 7th! Join us from 6-8pm for a barbecue dinner, dancing, games and fun!

STRIVE 25 is a social event for people ages 25 and older. We run the first Thursday of every month from 6-8pm. The cost is $10 and includes dinner, and anyone 25 and older is welcome! Please contact Caroline Cole at (or at 207-774-6278) with any questions or for more information.

The beginning of summer is a busy and exciting time of year at STRIVE U. The second year students have moved into their off- campus apartments and are becoming acclimated to their new homes. The students have moved into beautiful apartments throughout the downtown area of Portland. While they settle into their new homes, they begin to prepare for the next chapter of their lives after graduation. They are busy making plans for joining community day programs, ensuring home support, searching for employment opportunities and more. The student's friends, family, peers and staff will celebrate their successes at the STRIVE U graduation ceremony, which will be held later this month.

The second year students had the opportunity to show off all of their many accomplishments at the Second Year Presentations. The presentations were held on May 22nd at the Purdue University Global campus in Lewiston, Maine. The students displayed all of their accomplishments during a PowerPoint presentation in front of all their friends, family, peers and staff.

Meanwhile, the first year students are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new roommates. The class of 2020 will be moving to campus on Sunday June 24th at noon. STRIVE U is very excited to welcome the incoming class of 2020 to campus!

STRIVE  U is a comprehensive two-year residential,  post-secondary educational opportunity. 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 .


May was a great month for Friday Nights! Last week we had our annual Luau, which wouldn't have been complete without a fun limbo competition! Everyone wore leis, and we had tons of dancing. This month we also elected our new Advisory Board! The elected members are: Bridget P, Mary G, Emily M, LeeAnn B, Consta G, Caleb D, and Emma C! We're looking forward to next month's theme- Summer Bash! That will be taking place on Friday, June 15th. We hope to see you there!

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, and your first night is free!  STRIVE Night is every Friday from  6-9pm. For more information, contact Olivia at 


Tweens had a great month of May! We had several new members join us, and had lots of fun making new friends, and doing our luau craft project last Friday! Check out what we've got going on for June- we can't wait!

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 Alex at

Wednesday Night Educational Series

We've had a great month of May in Culinary Creations! We've worked on skills like knife safety, nutrition, and working on learning new recipes for the different meals of the day. We are excited to continue into June!

For the second part of June, and heading into July, we will be having an Outdoor Skills series! For more info, and to register for this class, contact Alex at

June has finally arrived, which means it's time for Summer Camp STRIVE to start back up again! We are so excited and can't wait for all of the fun to begin. Camp STRIVE will begin Monday, June 18th, and run all the way til August 31st. Camp STRIVE runs 9am-5pm, with a half-day option available to students in Extended School Year programs in the morning.

We will be having an Open House on Tuesday, June 12th, to welcome campers new and old, to provide a chance to meet the new counselors, see our camp space and receive your Camp STRIVE T-shirts! We hope to see you then.

We are also offering an EARLY BIRD registration deadline, that ends tonight! If you register your camper by 9pm tonight (6/1/18), you can receive your first week (or non-consecutive 5 days) of Camp for $175. For any questions regarding this offer, or for any Camp STRIVE questions, please contact Olivia at Happy Summer!
After School

May has been such a great month here in After School. We've visited some favorite local beaches and parks to enjoy the gorgeous weather, and have continued to hone our kitchen and cooking skills. This month we said goodbye to one of our participants, Pete, who graduated from TOPS, so is all done with After School. We are proud of Pete and will miss him in our gang- he's been a part of After School for several years!

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  
Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!


We hope you have a great day!

Felisha Saunders
Ashley Low
Tiffany Filliger
Colby Padulo
Katrina Southard
Morgan Adams
Alexander Doyler
Wellyn Pinkerton
Greta Anderson
Courtney Houde
Emily Bell
Roberta Anderson
Danielle Doherty
Andy Le
Charles Saffian
Mary Leahy
Joshua Small
Stephanie Elsman
Samantha Gauthier
Michael McDonald
Caleb Dunlap
Keegan Neddenriep
Marty Poore
Kyle Sargent
Thank You to Our Donors

-          Give with Liberty
-          Knights of Columbus Maine                    State Council
-          David & Catherine Crockett
-          Jean Ricciardelli
-          Elizabeth & James Huebener
-          Lois & Michael Dennison ~ In                Memory of Archie Dennison
-          William Taplin & Emily Taplin-
-          John & Carol Ann Cagle
-          Margaret Cloutier
-          Anonymous
-          United Way of Eastern Maine
-          Cynthia & David Barnard
-          Michael Ciampi - In Honor of
-          The Estate of John Frederick Pritchard - In Memory of John
-          UNUM
-          The Law Firm of Cloutier, Conley & Diffett
-          Lynn Hurd - In Memory of Patricia Bell
-          Kathleen Lizotte
-          Lynn Wiest
-          E.C. & Catherine Sanders
-          John & Lynda Lawrence
-          Kimberly & Cedric Gillikin
-          Corin Swift & Rafael Adams
-          Scott & Pamela Chamberlin - In Honor of Elaine Gervais
-          Maine Aviation Aircraft Charter LLC
-          Esther Pappas
-          Jennifer LaCroix
-          NAPPI Distributors
-          Hutchins Trucking Company
-          Geoffrey Wright & Stefanie Fairchild
-          Erin & Michael Soucy
-          Daniel Reardon & Bernadette Woodcock
-          Mary & John Burt
-           Michael & MaryAnn Tranfaglia
-          Martha Ann Savard - In Memory Of Peter Jannace 

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE!
General Announcements



-We're Hiring! Check out our open positions:

-We are looking for volunteers! If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering in our programs or in our upcoming events, please contact Whitney at!

STRIVE 25- June 7th, 2018
Camp STRIVE Open House- June 12th, 2018
First Day of Summer Camp STRIVE- June 18th, 2018
Kevin On The Roof- September 1st, 2018
Foden Road 5K Road Race- September 8th, 2018
STRIVE Auction- October 24th, 2018

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