PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

November 1st, 2019
Halloween STRIVE Night- TONIGHT!

Our biggest theme night of the year for STRIVE Night is TONIGHT! Our annual Halloween party is always our most packed house of the year, so bring your friends and don't miss out! Halloween costumes are encouraged but are not mandatory. We'll have Halloween games, crafts, and of course, treats! STRIVE Night is for 15-24 year olds, and is $10 - but your first time is free! For more information about STRIVE Night or the Halloween party, contact Olivia at [email protected]. See you tonight!

Share the Love with STRIVE at Patriot Subaru!

It's that time of year again- time for Patriot Subaru's Share the Love Campaign! Patriot Subaru has generously selected STRIVE as one of two participating beneficiary's of their annual Share the Love campaign. Today, November 1st, through January 1st, 2020, $250 can be donated to STRIVE through every vehicle sold at their Saco dealership. We are so grateful to have been chosen again this year, and so grateful for all Patriot Subaru continues to do for STRIVE and the greater community.

We will be having a celebratory barbecue at Patriot Subaru to kick off the Share the Love season! Join us for burgers, hot dogs, and snacks at Patriot Subaru 
on Route 1 in Saco on  Saturday, November 23rd from 11am-1pm!

STRIVE Auction Raises $95,000!

We are thrilled to report that our Annual Auction, held last Wednesday at the Italian Heritage Center, helped raise $95,000 for STRIVE and our programs! We are so thankful to the over 400 community members who turned out to bid high and celebrate our programs and the over 1000 participants that we support. We are also incredibly thankful to the hundreds of local businesses who donated gift certificates, gift baskets, experiences for our guests! 

The Auction of course could not have been possible without the help of our Auction Committee, and our over 50 volunteers, who spent late nights, early mornings, and long hours with our team helping to make this Auction our best yet. From decorating the room and cleaning up at the end, to staffing our registration tables, working hard in our "Bag Room" to get winners their items, to making sure each item was presented nicely and everything in between, THANK YOU to all who lent a helping hand to make this event as special as it was! We could not have done it without you.

During the Auction, we heard from two STRIVE members, Arianna and Phil, who spoke eloquently about the programs they attend with us and how they've impacted both their present and their future. It was certainly a night to remember! 


If you attended our Auction, we would greatly appreciate any feedback you have! We have a brief survey and would love to know your thoughts. 

Again, thanks to all who joined to celebrate STRIVE! We're already excited for next year's Auction!
Save the Date! January 25th, 2020- STRIVE's 20th Anniversary!

Mark your calendars! We will be holding a celebratory gala for STRIVE's 20th Anniversary at the Sheraton Sable Oaks in South Portland on
January 25th, 2020.    Details to follow in the coming months!

Want to be a part of the event's Host Committee?  Your donation of $125 will assist in offsetting this event's expenses and will also help make this night as affordable as possible for our STRIVE members and community. As a member of the host committee, you will receive 2 tickets to the event (an $80 value), 10 raffle tickets (a $20 value) and recognition on all printed materials and at the event. We also have rates available for businesses and organizations as well! If you are interested in this once-in-every-five-years opportunity, contact Whitney Wildes, STRIVE Program Manager, at [email protected]!
STRIVE WorldWIDE: Register Now!

Register now for Self-Advocacy & Boundaries which runs 11/4-12/8/19.  Weekly seminars meet Tuesday & Thursday evenings from 7-8 PM EST.
The course will focus on:
  • Understanding what self-advocacy is and why it's important
  • Practicing self-advocacy in big and small (every day) ways
  • Developing self-awareness
  • Learning a brief history of the American's with Disability Act and understanding your rights
  • Identifying your circle of support and natural supports
  • Understanding when to speak up and when to ask for help
  • Setting and respecting boundaries
If you refer a friend, both you and the friend will get 15% of this course by using code FRIEND!
October was a big month for the STRIVECast- we celebrated our one-year anniversary! During our STRIVECastiversary episode, we reflected on the 52 episodes we made during "Season 1," our favorite moments, and even did some STRIVECast superlatives. We are so thankful to all of our amazing guests that have come on our show in the last year, and to everyone who has listened as we found our voices and got into the groove of our show! We are so excited for all that Season 2 has in store for our team.

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  [email protected] !

STRIVE 25's November party will be celebrating HALLOWEEN! Join us next week on Thursday, November 7th from 6-8pm for a Halloween social!

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 [email protected].

We've been busy this month with getting new jobs, partying it up for Halloween and practicing our civic duty! 

A huge congratulations to Patrick, Michael and Matt on their new jobs at Coca-Cola. The three are finishing up orientation and have begun working sorting cans and doing some light cleaning.


Each Saturday evening we host Saturday Night Social at our STRIVE U campus. This is open to any current or past STRIVE U students. This past Saturday was a Halloween party! Thanks to all the students who dressed up, played games and ate snacks. Staff worked very hard to make sure our meeting room looked extra special for the party!


Finally, on Halloween we practiced our civic duty by voting absentee at City Hall. Students who were not registered brought all the necessary documents so they would be ready to vote with everyone else. We're all excited to see who our new mayor will be!

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

After School has had a great month of October! We welcomed our new staff Emily, and have had a great time showing her the ropes of our program and our usual routines. We've been trying to enjoy the nice weather while we can, and have been busy visiting the local animal shelter, and playing games outside! We're excited to work on more fun cooking skills as the Thanksgiving holiday nears!

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 Olivia at [email protected]!

October has proved to be yet another busy month over at Bayside. We finished September on a strong note by staying focused on food and kitchen safety. In fact, this topic is so important and there is so much to learn that we continued with this topic for the month of October. We have touched on important skills such as practicing how to use measuring cups and identifying when to use dry versus liquid measuring cups. Other important lessons include how to properly wash dishes and how to successfully recycle! We've even had some super fun, hands-on learning groups where we learned how to make omelets and apple dips.

While our hands have been full of continuing to learn and develop our kitchen skills, there has been plenty of fun to be had in order to gear up for the spooky season! This month we visited Smiling Hill Farms for a hay ride and pumpkin picking to get in the spirit of Halloween. Everyone has had a hands-on approach in planning our upcoming Halloween party. From menu planning some festive treats to picking out fun games to make sure everyone has a good time while we celebrate! With another month in the books, we are looking forward to continuing learning and growing all while enjoying the holiday season!

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 [email protected].

TOPS enjoyed a beautiful October. The students are working hard to increase their independent living skills, navigation options and community safety. One of our groups completed their first round of fix-it stations, problem solving different household tasks such as using a hammer, changing a lightbulb and replacing batteries. The groups are all looking forward to welcoming in shadow students from different districts who are considering attending during the 2020-2021 school year!

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, [email protected]. 207-774-6278.


In keeping with healthy life styles, Next Step continues to work together to come up with healthy recipes to cook each week. Every week we have a food lab where we decide as a group what we want to cook by researching a recipe together, then work together as a team to develop a shopping list that stays within our budget for that meal. If the meal comes in under budget, we then move the leftover money into our program savings account. Once we have built up a sufficient amount of money in our savings account, we can then decide as a group what special activity we would like to do with that money. There are so many concepts that are reinforced with this activity including: living within one's budget, healthy eating, grocery shopping, food preparation and teamwork!

Next STEP is a great option offering quality curriculum for those who are on a waiting list for other services or in combination with other services. We also are available for those who may not qualify for other services and who are interested in broadening their
opportunities for independent skill development as well as social connections.
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, full-time and short-term options are available.

October was a great month of STRIVE Night's! We're so excited for tonight's Halloween extravaganza -- stay tuned to see who the winner of the costume contest is,  and more! Later in the month we'll be holding our Annual Harvest Festival! Join us for the Harvest Fest Friday, November 22nd!

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    [email protected].

Tweens had a great month of October! We've had a ton of new college and grad school volunteers come in this semester to spend time with us, and teach us new games and fall-themed crafts! We've enjoyed getting to know them all and are thankful for all of their help! In November we're looking forward to some Thanksgiving themed games and crafts, and of course, our annual Hallow-Tweens event this afternoon!


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 [email protected]

Wednesday Night Educational Series

Wednesday Night Ed had a great month of October that was all about Healthy Eating! We learned about various nutrition skills, and closed out the month making healthy Halloween treats.

In November and December, Wednesday Night Ed will be holding our biggest class of the year, Healthy Relationships! This class will be 6 weeks long, and will be facilitated by our friends at Planned Parenthood. Our Healthy Relationships course will the various types of relationships, boundaries, sex education, personal health, and more. The cost of the series will be $30, and we ask that students attend each week of the class. Below is a basic overview of the structure of the class, but please note the topics will be subject to change weekly due to the importance and sensitivity of this topic.

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 [email protected].

Active & Waves

Active and Waves kicked off the fall season with a day-long trip to the Fryeburg Fair. We celebrated Maine agriculture by visiting all of the livestock venues and enjoyed special fair food like corn dogs, ice cream, and pizza. Despite the cloudy day, the autumn colors and vibes were in full bloom!

And to wrap up the month, we celebrated with a spooky Halloween party! We enjoyed creepy-crawly crafts, a caramel apple "nacho" bar, and a Halloween themed scavenger hunt, along with lots of other activities. October was truly a hit!

For more information on PSL Services' Community Support Day Programs, Active & Waves, please contact Emily at [email protected].
Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!


To all who are celebrating birthdays in November- we hope you have a great day!

Aaron Golden
Tad Hugo
Jonathan Tingley
Eben Raszmann
Catie O'Brien
Jevyn Neves
Rebecca Dietlin
Justin Faulkner
Thank You to Our October Donors!


-          Sinclair Family Foundation
-        Alan Rowell - In Honor of Amanda Thompson
-        Robert Sellin & Natalie West
-        Lisa & Joseph Stevens
-        Eric & Jeanne Lazo-Wasem
-        Bill Ryan
-        Harold & Peggy Osher
-        Nick & Lefco Poulos
-        Dale & Linda Wilson
-        Jessica Blanchard
-        Timothy Miller & Christine Chambers-Miller
-        Wendy Russell
-        Stanley & Dorothy Wondolowski
-        Scott Waldron
-        Patricia Vierra
-        Wendy & Robert Wentworth
-        Frederic & Doreen Thompson
-        I. Scott & Pamela Chamberlin
-        Linda Conti
-        Ronald & Gaye Blumenthal
-        John & Carol Ann Cagle
-        Marshview LLC
-        United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley
-        Tim & Aileen Agnew Family Fund
-        Barry Dunlap - In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
-        Alan Bauters
-        Ellen McMonagle
-        Peter Hayes
-        Daniel Reardon & Bernadette Woodcock
-        Estate of Marian Friedman
-        Terri St. Angelo
-        Kayla Berg
-        Allison Lamb
-        Ruth Doughty
-        Breana Gersen

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!

Halloween STRIVE Night-  November 1st, 2019
Share the Love @ Patriot Subaru- November 1st, 2019-January 1st, 2019
Halloween STRIVE 25- November 7th, 2019
Share the Love BBQ- November 23rd, 2019 @ Patriot Subaru
STRIVE CLOSED - November 11th, November 28th, November 29th 2019 
STRIVE's 20th Anniversary Gala- January 25th, 2020 @ Sheraton Sable Oaks

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!