PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

November 1st, 2018
STRIVE's Auction!

Our 14th Annual Auction took place on Wednesday, October 24th at the Italian Heritage Center, and was by far our most successful Auction to date! This year, with the incredible support of our community, we were able to raise over $95,000 for STRIVE programs- a new Auction record! We want to give an enormous thank you to all of our sponsors, and organizations who donated the 400+ items we were able to auction off- we cannot thank you enough. We also want to give a special thank you to all of 50+ volunteers who helped out throughout the course of this event- from our planning committee who began creating the event in the springtime, to the amazing folks who helped with the beautiful decorations, as well as set up, take down, AND check in/check out! This event would not be possible without your help, and we are so grateful for your support. 
We hope all who joined us had a wonderful evening- we are so grateful to have such a generous and supportive community surrounding us. We hope to see you next year!


The STRIVECast is the brand new podcast from the team at STRIVE, bringing you a behind-the-scenes look into our world! We release new episodes every Tuesday, and have 4 episodes already available for your listening pleasure! Episodes are available on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and are also available on our website at !

The STRIVECast is hosted by Pete, Olivia, Jeff, & Noel, and each week we have a special guest that Jeff  & Noel interview! So far we've spoken with our Executive Director Lori Sanville, Chris Cameron of the Portland Sea Dogs, and Shannon Moss of News Center Maine! The STRIVECast is full of laughs and is great company on your commute, your daily walk/run, or whenever you listen to your podcasts! 
If you have suggestions for the STRIVECast, or ideas for our next guest interview, please send us an email at Happy listening!
STRIVE U Applications

STRIVE U Applications are available now!

If you would like more information on STRIVE U and/or would like to schedule a campus tour, please contact Bill Hughes at (207) 774-6278 ext. 310 or e-mail

Applications are due back at STRIVE U on or before February 1, 2019.

October was filled with lots of fun and educational activities here at Bayside. In learning group, we began the month with a look at healthy exercising habits and the different benefits you can get from exercising. They were shown some easy techniques they can do at home to improve flexibility and strength. The participants were then encouraged to try to incorporate these into their daily lives outside of program. We then moved into ways to stay safe in the community and at home. The participants worked on determining the risks of different emergencies and the proper ways to keep yourself and others safe. They took part in discussions about disaster scenarios, how to use 911 services, and common types of emergencies they could find themselves in. We ended the month with a look at fire safety and followed up with a fire drill to help prepare our participants for fire emergencies.

We had some awesome adventure days this month! To get into the fall spirit, our participants went apple picking at Orchard Ridge where they got a chance to visit some small farm animals and pick apples right from the tree. We then used those apples to make pies and a blueberry apple crisp that both turned out fantastic. We also went to Smiling Hill Farm where they had access to the barnyard animals for feeding and got a tour of their dairy facility. The participants also picked up a small pumpkin to bring home with them from the farm. We ended the month with a Halloween party. All the participants wore their costumes and spent the day playing educational games, making awesome crafts, and cooking Halloween themed snacks. We are so thrilled with all the amazing work our participants are doing at Bayside and cannot wait for another exciting month ahead of 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, 9:00-1:00and 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 
Fall is a busy time of year at STRIVE U! Students were able to invite their family and friends to our annual barbecue. It was a wonderful Saturday afternoon spent mingling with other families, playing games, and enjoying hamburgers and hot dogs made by Brad Morrison! Students also had the opportunity to give tours of their apartments during the STRIVE U Open House. They did an excellent job discussing the program and what independence means to them.  
It is hard to believe that the academic year at STRIVE U has already reached its halfway point! The First Years have been working very hard learning about Professional Presence in their Purdue University Global class. Practicing professionalism will help them feel confident when attending job fairs and applying for different positions with our Employment Coordinator, Carley. Second Years have been studying Customer Service and had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Home 2 Suites. They were able to spend time with the Sales and Marketing Team where they could ask questions about best practices.
The First and Second Years are discussing Voting Rights & the 2018 Elections in Learning Group. They have been reviewing what their rights are as United States citizens. Students have also been reading the news so they will feel confident when voting for candidates and issues that align with their beliefs on Election Day.


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 


October was a busy month for TOPS. All nine of our current students have settled into the school year and are hard at work learning skills that will support them as they transition out of high school. Voting was a significant focus this month with students learning what to expect when they vote and reviewed nonpartisan resources to make informed decisions.

TOPS continues to welcome prospective students to schedule a visit as they explore programming options for their final year(s) in public school.

Interested in TOPS? TOPS (Transition Outcomes Program for Students) provides transition programing for high school students in their 13th and 14th school year from area school districts. For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison, 207-774-6278.
Next Step


With Mid-term elections coming up, the Next STEPpers had a lot of questions about voting. So for the past month's curriculum, we talked all about the voting process. We also discussed what will be on the ballot and used an informative newspaper from the library that was devoted to presenting and explaining the referendum questions in an objective manner. We discussed the opportunity that we have in this country to be part of decisions locally, statewide and nationally so that our participants will be better informed and consider voting in November.

At the request of one of the participants in Next STEP, we again toured the South Portland police department, where we learned about community safety. We also got to test out the jail cells (and decided that was no place for us!), and actually got to seat in the driver's seat of a police car and turn the sirens on! Although we have done this tour before, it always seems like a good refresher to know what the police department does and how they can be helpful to us in many situations.

To end the month, Next STEP celebrated Halloween by having a Halloween party. We planned out all aspects of the party including what we wanted to make for our party that would adhere to our allotted budget. We were able to apply the concepts we learned in our money class to purchasing items for our food and fun. A great way to end the month!

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.

We are so excited to offer Thanksgiving Camp STRIVE again this year! Looking for some fun the day before Thanksgiving? Join us for a fun day of Camp on Wednesday, November 21st. To sign up, please email Olivia at!

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 cooking, community trips, arts and crafts, games and physical fitness 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.

What a great month for STRIVE Night's! October is a big month for us, as it means Halloween STRIVE Night! Halloween is always our biggest event of the year, and this year we boasted nearly 60 STRIVE Night attendees! As always, the staff had a secret costume theme, which this year was Charlie Brown! 

This month, we're looking forward to another fall favorite, our Harvest Festival theme night! Harvest Fest will be held on Friday, November 16th. We hope to 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 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 October! We learned how to play ukulele, learned lots about recycling, and of course had our annual Hallow-Tweens celebration! We are having so much fun together and can't wait for all that November will bring.

Tweens is a safe and fun environment to build new skills and friendships for 11-14 year olds with disabilities. For more information, contact Whitney at

Wednesday Night E ducational Series

This month, we'll be continuing our Healthy Relationships series! We're excited for all the wonderful speakers & educators we have coming in to teach us about this important topic. Check out our schedule below!

The Wednesday Night Educational Series is held every Wednesday at STRIVE for participants 11-24. 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 has had a great fall! We've spent lots of time outdoors, as well as helping STRIVE staff prepare for the annual Auction! This month, we're excited to get back into the swing of learning some more cooking skills, as well as getting some exercise and of course, hanging out with our peers.


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!

Ashley Ellis
Alexis Cote
Deborah Burgess
David Goodell Jr.
Karen Welling
Eben Raszmann
Dylan Aitken
Aaron Golden
Tad Hugo
Caitlin O'Brien
Matthew Libby
George Kampstra
Amanda Thompson
Cole Hansen
Joseph Sprague
Ian Taylor
Dylan Roy
Elliot Voltz
Jason Scontras
Thank You to Our Donors


-          Richard & Layla Lord
-          Glenn & Doris Mehan
-          Oakhurst Dairy
-          Catherine LeBlanc
-          Harold & Peggy Osher
-          Employees of SBSI
-          Renaissance Charitable
-          OTTO's Pizza
-          Saco & Biddeford Savings
-          United Way of Androscoggin
-          Rodney Voisine
-          Gloria Lamiette
-          Cornell Knight & Kathryn Rand
-          Stephanie & William Scherr
-          William Gourde
-          Robert Sellin & Natalie West
-          Barry Dunlap - In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
-          Susan Saffer
-          Laura & Kathy Son
-          Cynthia & Lawrence Vaughan
-          Daniel Reardon & Bernadette Woodcock
-          Sally Saunders - In Honor of Jack Prato
-          Debra & Roger Caron
-          Daniel & Nancy Ravin
-          Kathleen Lizotte
-          Chris Berry
-          Wendy Yale
-          David Dyer
-          Ellen Decotis
-          Anonymous
-          John & Donna Dwyer
-          Wendy Bush
-          Peter & Rosemary Goranitis
-          Marjorie Murray - In Honor of Emily Rose
-          In Honor of our Family Super Hero Pablo "Big P" Sandberg
-          Duke & Charlene Goranitis
-          Barbara West
-          Susan Wagner
-         Sue & Joe Guerette

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE!
General Announcements



-We're Hiring!  If you or someone you know is interested in working with us, please contact Betsy Morrison at! You can also check out all of our open positions by visiting 


STRIVE 25- November 1st, 2018
Harvest Festival STRIVE Night- November 16th
TOPS Reunion & Parent Session- November 16th
STRIVE Anniversary Celebration- December 7th

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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!