PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

October 1st, 2018
STRIVE's 14th Annual Auction!

Join us for our 14th Annual Auction! This year it will be held at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland on October 24th, beginning at 5:30pm. With over 400 silent items, and over 10 incredible live items to bid on, there's truly something for everyone! For tickets, to see a sneak preview of live and silent items, or for more information please visit

Do you have a timeshare, season sports tickets, concert tickets, or any unique experiences you would be willing to donate? Do you work for a company who would be interested in sponsoring this event? Contact Whitney, STRIVE Program Manager, at [email protected].

Kevin On The Roof

On September 1st, STRIVE's all-star volunteer Kevin Fitzpatrick ascended the roof of Patriot Subaru in Saco for his 2018 Kevin On the Roof Effort. With a goal of $40,000 to raise, Kevin camped out on the roof for one full week, braving tough weather (90 degree days AND a rain storm!) all in the name of STRIVE. Kevin came off of the roof after 168 hours with a total of over $42,000. We can't thank Kevin enough for his unwavering commitment to all we do here at STRIVE, as well as everyone who contributed to this effort. It sure was a long week, but we are so grateful to everyone involved in this special event. Until next year!


This past month at Bayside, the participants have been working on new skills for healthy living in learning group. We spent the first two weeks of the month going over healthy relationships and how to treat others. We looked at the different types of relationships we see in our day-to-day life and the roles we play in these relationships. Participants discussed their roles in professional relationships such as ones with employers, counselors, or support staff and how they would differ from roles with personal relationships. We covered the importance of boundaries in these relationships and how to tell what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. Sticking with the topic of healthy living, we transitioned into physical health topics such as diets and nutrition. The first week we discussed healthy and unhealthy foods and how to tell the difference. The group learned about food labels and how to read them when purchasing food items at the store. We covered what to look out for on labels that indicate if the food is healthy or unhealthy such as sugars, carbs, calories, and sodium and the percent daily values measurements for them. We will be continuing nutrition education for the last week in September before moving to exercise information and habits.

Our participants have been coming up with some great adventure day ideas such as going bowling, playing lawn games at Deering Oaks, and busing to the Westbrook Dairy Queen. The group also spent a full day at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth for a company picnic where they played kickball and other games with groups from different programs.

Some of the new goals our participants have decided to work on this month were better time management, performing home chores more efficiently, staying on task, and safe in the community. We have had a fantastic month at Bayside and look forward to continuing our success next month. Many new opportunities to learn and grow as individuals are headed our way and we can't wait to see what is in store for us in the month of October! 

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]

TOPS Is back in the swing of things for the 2018-19 school year! The students are settling in nicely to a routine and beginning to take on more challenges each week. As we enter into the 4th year of programming, we are pleased to have students from eight different schools districts this school year.

The students have applied and interviewed for a classroom job and will have this position until November. Some jobs include the Technology Assistant, Floor Monitor and Kitchen Hygiene Operator. Each job requires a different skill set and students are responsible for completing their job every day. Additionally, the students are building skills in the areas of navigating the community, shopping, cooking, and health and wellness. It's going to be a great year!

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, [email protected]. 207-774-6278.
Next Step

Next STEP began the fall by started a new series of curriculum units regarding independent living. Although independent living skills are an ongoing focus of the program, we are spending more concentrated time on looking for and budgeting for an apartment and looking at how to affordably furnish an apartment, discussing various forms of transportation in addition to the Metro, and looking at various job opportunities and how to work within various salaries. As with all that we do, the curriculum that we cover when we are in the program space always gets put into practical application when we are in the community!


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.

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.

  The STRIVE U school year has begun and students are acclimating to their new routine of attending classes. They are attending classes with Purdue Global University professors where they learn about professional development, computer technology and more. They are also taking learning group with STRIVE U's Education & Training Coordinator, Shelby Cogan! Shelby's class involves many fascinating topics that improve life skills, including nutrition, healthy relationships, and more. While student's attend the classes, they are also focusing on their employment, activities in the community and life on campus. They are very busy from the time they wake up until they go to bed on most days!

Although the students have a busy daily schedule, they took time out of their week to enjoy the PSL STRIVE picnic, located at the Fort Williams Park. They enjoyed food, lawn games, dancing, raffle prizes and socializing with their peers. The weather was great and the view of the Portland Headlight was spectacular!

Recently,  STRIVE U students attended the Maine Jobs Career Fair! The students learned about open positions, handed out their resumes and networked with local businesses. Do you or your business need an extra pair of hands? We're always looking for new (and old!) employment opportunities for our students. For more information about hiring a STRIVE U student, contact STRIVE U Employment Coordinator Carley Thiboutot at [email protected].

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 


We've had such a fun summer and fall during STRIVE Nights! Over the summer we had our annual Fourth of July celebration, a Baseball theme night complete with Sea Dog Biscuits, and last week we just had our annual STRIVE Idol competition! Various STRIVE Night members participated in our STRIVE idol competition, singing lots of fun songs and getting the crowd going. Congratulations to the winner of this year's STRIVE Idol- Pete T! He blew the judges away with his rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'." 

Fall at STRIVE Night though really means one big thing-
 Halloween STRIVE Night! 

Our biggest social of the year boasts over 70 participants and is not to be missed! This year, Halloween STRIVE Night will be held on  Friday, October 26th! Bring your costume, bring your friends, and we'll see you there! Don't miss out!

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 such a fun summer and start to fall! Spark's Ark paid us a visit a few weeks ago, introducing us to fun and exotic animals- including a python! We were all really brave and kept cool, even putting it around our necks! 

This month we're looking forward to some fall-themed activities, like pumpkin painting, and everyone's favorite, Hallow-Tweens! This year that will be on Friday, October 26th. Tweens are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes! See you there.

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 Whitney at [email protected].

Wednesday Night E ducational Series

It's time for our biggest Wednesday Ed Series of the year, Healthy Relationships! We devote two months to this big topic, and can't wait to dive in. Check out the details 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 [email protected].

Aktion Club

October brings one of Aktion Club's favorite events of the year...the Halloween Bake Sale! Support us by buying one of our delicious and home-made baked goods- all proceeds go to our Holiday Family!


After School

After School is back up and running for the 2018-2019 school year! We have already had a busy start to fall, spending as much time outside as possible as well as helping out STRIVE staff with tasks for the upcoming Auction! Sometimes we pick up various auction donations around town, helping to show local businesses the faces that their donations support. We love getting to meet new people and travel all around town!

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!

Brendon Kellogg            
Ted Prosack              
Chase Gaston                 
Thomas Woodman
Erik Santiago                    
Jacob Roberts
Jalen High                         
Matthew Archer
Forest Lizzotte                 
Angie Tourigny
Kayla Labonte                 
 Kayla Campbell
Tracy Russell
Sarah Doughty
Thank You to Our Donors

-Glen & Doris Mehan
-Harold Osher
-Kayla Desmond
-Rachel Fogarty
-Peter W. Lawrence
-Bette & Sam Novick
-Janice Plante
-Carolyn Bird & Gregg Ritter
-Barbara & Richard Wigton
-Angela Zook
-Richard & Bridget Whiting
-James & Cheryl Carter - In Memory of Bob DiBiase
-Kevin Foley & Lea Tunney - In Memory of Phil Foley
-Great Falls Construction - In Honor of Cole Shiers
-Marjorie & Bob Murray and Susan Guerette - In Honor of
Emily Murray
-Ronald & Gaye Blumenthal
Gorham Savings Bank
Karen Jannace - In Memory of Peter Jannace
Fake Living Trust - In Memory of Mary Fake
David & Catherine Crockett
Larry & Mary Ann Costanzer
Roger & Patricia Olson - In Honor of the 50th Anniversary
of Rock & Cathy Sholtanis

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE!
General Announcements



-We're Hiring! We are looking for a full-time staff for our After School program. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Betsy Morrison at [email protected]! You can also check out all of our open positions by visiting 

-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 [email protected]! We have a big need for volunteers at our upcoming Auction!


STRIVE 25- October 4th, 2018
STRIVE's Annual Auction- October 24th, 2018
Halloween STRIVE Night- October 26th, 2018
TOPS Reunion & Parent Session- November 16th

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!