PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

May 2nd, 2018
Advisory Board Elections THIS Friday!

Every spring, STRIVE Night elects new members to it's Advisory Board! The board is made up of STRIVE members, who meet bi-weekly to plan STRIVE theme nights, and keep STRIVE Night fun and accessible for all.  The Advisory Board also:
  • Plans and gets involved with STRIVE outings & fundraisers.
  • Talks about problems related to STRIVE
  • Represents STRIVE members when asked to do so
  • Promotes respect to all STRIVE members and staff at all STRIVE related events.
  • Welcomes new members to STRIVE nights!
     If you think this is something you or a STRIVE member you know might enjoy, we are holding our annual elections this Friday night during STRIVE Night! Each person who would like to run will be asked to make a short speech in front of other hopeful board members about why they would like to be on the board, and why they would be a good fit.
    For any questions about running for the board, contact Olivia at [email protected]! Good luck!

  • STRIVE 25

    STRIVE 25 is having it's April event this Thursday, May 3rd, from 6-8pm! Join us for a night of music, dinner, dancing, and LOTS of 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 [email protected] (or at 207-774-6278) with any questions or for more information.

    April has been a full month of independence, community access and putting learned skills to use. Students are planning their own community trips, working as a team to have a successful day out of the classroom. The students have identified preferred activities and are making the most out of their final few months before graduation! Our students have their final assigned jobs for the year and wrapped up their requirements for graduation.
    This year, TOPS will graduate 10 out of 14 current students on May 29th at 6pm, here at STRIVE. The students will begin preparing their speeches and hope to see a full Teen Center! If you are interested in attending graduation and need more information, please contact Kelly Frey, [email protected].



    STRIVE TOPS is a unique collaborative with school districts in the southern Maine area. The program is especially designed for students who are in their 13th or 14th year of school. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Betsy Morrison at (207) 774-6278 or [email protected]

    Next Step

    With spring upon us, the Next STEPpers have been soaking up the nice weather by taking their adventures to the outdoors! Next STEP has been going hiking in various different locations and finding new places to walk and get some exercise while enjoying the beautiful scenes that the Portland area has to offer. We started off with Fort Williams, where we did a photo scavenger hunt. Several of the participants worked together on their own to create a scavenger hunt list in advance of the trip. When we got there, we got into teams and worked together to find the items on the list. This was great to watch because the participants used their team building skills by working together to get the task done and they had fun doing it!

    Cooking healthy meals continues to be one of the goal areas that is ongoing for Next STEP. We continue to incorporate budgeting into the preparation of our groups meals and are reminded of how important it is to have a budget. Most recently, we have been focusing on looking at what we have in the refrigerator and pantry first to see what we have to use and then try to put a meal together with what we have before going to the store to buy any items. That has helped us to stay within our budget each week!


    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 [email protected] 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.

    This past month at Bayside, our participants learned all about fire safety. During learning group, our main focus was on how fires start, what we should do if there's a fire, and why fire drills are so important to practice. For one of their Adventure Days, our participants got a tour of Bramhall Fire Department in Portland where they learned all about the job of a fire fighter, fire safety facts, and how to avoid starting a fire. While they were there, they even got to see the fire fighters respond to a call and check out the inside of an ambulance. Some of their favorite parts about touring the fire department were: seeing the ambulance, watching the fire fighters respond to a call, asking questions, and checking out the fire trucks. This month the participants also started a unit on math and kitchen measurements that we will continue to work on twice a week! The weather is finally getting warmer and our participants can't wait to get out and practice navigating to more new places!


    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 [email protected]

    Spring is in the air at STRIVE U and the students have been taking advantage of the nice weather! They have been enjoying spending time outside playing basketball, taking walks to the park, and utilizing outdoor community opportunities. The nice weather allows them to socialize and spend time with their peers outdoors and t ake advantage of the opportunities that the Portland community has to offer.

    There have been several exiting student employment updates. The students have been working hard to improve their job skills with Carley Williams, the STRIVE U Employment Coordinator, and their hard work is paying off! Recently, students have begun working at various locations around the community, including the Portland Sea Dogs, The Cross Insurance Arena, Spectrum Healthcare and more! Some students have even recently been recognized for their dedication to their work by receiving a certificate. Keep up the great work, STRIVE U students!


    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  [email protected]  or call  (207) 774-6278 .

    STRIVE Night

    April was a fun month of STRIVE Night's! We had our annual Spring Fling, where we enjoyed lawn games like cornhole, and tons of treats to get us ready for spring! This week we are so excited to see who will run and be elected to our new Advisory Board! In May our theme night will be LUAU NIGHT! It will be held Friday, May 25th. 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 lot of fun in April! We had several groups of UNE students come in to come in and put on tons of fun games and crafts for us to try! We are so thankful for them coming in and spending time with us. This month we're excited to have the Fire Department come visit us, as well as learn some cooking skills with Chef Brad!

    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

    Our Culinary Creations series will run through May AND June! Join us to learn all about cooking skills, new recipes, kitchen safety and more! The cost of this class is $30 and requires registration in advance. It's not too late to register! Email Alex at [email protected] to register or with any questions.

    Camp STRIVE
    We had SO much fun during April vacation camp! We went to so many fun places, from Get Air, to Smiling Hill Farm, as well as having box seats to a Sea Dogs game (courtesy of our friends at Coca Cola of Northern New England- thank you)! 

    Summer is fast approaching, and registration for Camp STRIVE is now open! You can fill out an application for your camper on our website at . Please contact Olivia at [email protected] if you intend to sign your camper up for summer camp. We can't wait!

    After School

    April was such a fun month for After School. We've been all over town, and spending a bit more time outside as the weather's been getting nicer. We had a really fun day this month at Fort Williams with our USM volunteer, Chelsea! We've also been spending time in few of our favorite spots- like Books A Million, Spare Time, and Get Air! We're excited for all that spring will bring...and can't believe the end of the school year is almost nearing!

    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 [email protected].  
    Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!


    We hope you have a great day!

    Jordan Emerson
    Joseph Gephart
    Jack Rosenblum
    Zachary Sprague
    James Raymond
    Molly Snowden
    Andrew Hebert
    Gabe Brewington
    Taneka Burwell
    Ryan Dufour
    Matthew Leeman
    Jamie Trites
    Caitlyn Welsch
    Tyler Cartwright


    Thank You to Our Donors

    -           Graham Holdings
    -           Sari Greene & Eric Boutiette
    -           Cathy Campbell - In Memory of
               Gerry Morin
    -           Fidelity Charitable
    -           Heather McGeough
    -           Gordon & Laurie Oliver - In
               Memory of Paul McGrath
    -           Eliza Stark
    -           Mervill & Ann Cronin
    -           Edward & Doris Cook
    -          Helen Meyer
    -          Kathleen Porter



    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 at STRIVE Rocks, please contact Whitney at [email protected].

    STRIVE 25- May 4th, 2018
    Kevin On The Roof- August 29th, 2018
    Foden Road 5K Road Race- September 8th, 2018

    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 [email protected] 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!