PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

October 1st, 2019
STRIVE's 15th Annual Auction - Wednesday, October 23rd!

STRIVE's 15th Annual Auction will be held Wednesday, October 23rd at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland, from 5:30-9:00pm.

Join us for a night of celebrating STRIVE - and bid on over 400 silent and 10 live auction items! The Auction is always an exciting and memorable night -- and a wonderful opportunity to join together as a STRIVE community. Hear from our participants about their experiences at STRIVE, mingle with other STRIVE community members and families, and enjoy a fun night celebrating all we do! 
Heavy appetizers are available as well as a cash bar.

Tickets can be purchased on our website at 
We hope to see you there!

Do you, or does someone you know, have an exciting item or experience they'd like to donate to our Auction? Sporting tickets, timeshares, gift cards, boat rides...we welcome any and all donations, and donations over $100 in value receive 2 complimentary tickets to the event! If you'd like to donate something to our Auction, please contact Whitney at 


New Classes Coming Soon!
STRIVE WorldWIDE is a first-of-its-kind online program that teaches independent living skills to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are excited to announce our next two classes and start dates:
Self-Advocacy & Boundaries will run 11/4-12/8/19.
Healthy You will run 1/6-2/9/20.
Registration will be open soon! Stay tuned for details.


September was a busy month for the STRIVECast, and we had lots of exciting guests! A few weeks ago we interviewed Sara Gideon, Maine's Speaker of the House. This was very exciting and we learned a lot about the government! We also chatted with our friends from the Maine Mariners, as well as the Director of Baxter State Park, Eben Sypitkowski. 

October will be a big month for the STRIVECast, as we'll be celebrating our one-year anniversary! We can't believe it, but come this week we'll have done 52 episodes - interviewing one guest week by week. We want to give an enormous thank you to all of our wonderful guests who have joined us, and to all of our faithful listeners! We are looking forward to another exciting year ahead for our show.

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 !

September was a great month for STRIVE Night's! We had our annual STRIVE Idol contest -- where we had an evening full of amazing performances! With lots of singing, some break-dancing performances, comedy skits and more, we celebrated everyone's amazing talents and had lots of fun. At the end of the night, it was STRIVE member Ali who was crowned this year's 2019 STRIVE Idol, with her rendition of "Great Balls of Fire"!


Fall is a very big time of year for STRIVE Night, because it brings our biggest theme night of the year...Halloween STRIVE Night! We usually get nearly 100 participants for this party each year. Halloween STRIVE Night will be Friday, November 1st! See you there in your spookiest costume!

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

STRIVE 25's October theme will be BASEBALL! Come one come all to our  social event for folks 25 years of age or older. Wear your favorite jersey and join in the fun! Baseball night will be this Thursday, October 3rd. STRIVE 25 is $10 and dinner is included. 

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

STRIVE U has been busy on and off campus with tie dye parties, job fairs, and
preparations for the upcoming Family and Friends BBQ and Open House here on
campus! Most of September has been  dedicated to adjusting to our new fall schedules. Although they are in the midst of their Fall term, the students are still  finding time to play some pick up basketball and have friends over for movie night. 1st year students are getting into the groove of STRIVE U and all the responsibilities that come with being a student, and the 2nd years are continuing to grow as  individuals!  In Learning Group, we are 
discussing personal boundaries and healthy relationships as well as keeping up with current news events.

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 or call
(207) 774-6278.
After School

After School has had a great start to the school year! We are getting back into the swing of our routine...which can take a little while after the busy schedule of summer camp! We've already been out and about in the community, visiting our friends at the Animal Refuge League, and enjoying the warm weather while it lasts! We're certainly looking forward to all the fun activities that Fall brings, like apple picking and visiting some sights for beautiful New England foliage. We're excited for all that this school year has in store!

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!

September has been a month full of fun in the kitchen as we work toward learning
independent cooking and kitchen safety skills here at Bayside! Our learning groups have honed-in on proper food storage, working with measuring cups and spoons, as well as improving our menu planning skills. Our favorite part about learning group has been our more hands-on lessons where we have all worked together to make some tasty treats such as jello and  blueberry muffins! As the month progresses and Fall creeps in, we look forward to  expanding our baking skills by planning to make corn bread and apple bread! 

For our weekly Adventure Days, we have taken a bus trip to Dairy Queen for lunch and joined our fellow STRIVE programs at the annual Fort William's Cookout! 

This month we are saying goodbye to our dear Bayside staff member, Conner, as she moves forward in her career aspirations. Thankfully she will just be up the road  hanging out with our friends at Foden,  however we will miss her dearly and wish her so much success. Thank you, Conner for all your hard work and we are so excited to see you grow!
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

TOPS officially started their 5th school year this September! Students from different area school districts attend TOPS for either our AM (8am-10:30am) or PM (11:00pm-1:30pm) session, or for the full day. This year, we are starting off the school year with themed days to help keep our students on track with their transition goals. On Mondays, we practice money skills; budgeting, banking, earning income, money identification and so much more! Tuesdays are designated for Transportation and Technology, Wednesdays are all about Health and Wellness, Thursdays are for the odds and ends which we call Transition Tools Thursday and of course we end our week with Fun Fridays. Our students are practicing checking their  checking their emails to be prepared for the week ahead!

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, 207-774-6278.


With the summer coming to a close, we are getting ready for the fall in many different ways. As mentioned before, each week the Next STEP group plans for and prepares an afternoon snack with the idea that it will be healthy. So, with fall around the corner, we decided that we wanted to go apple picking for our apples. Then we came back to STRIVE and made homemade apple sauce. We also used our apples to make "apple sandwiches" to share at the  annual company picnic at Fort Williams. Fall is fun!

For our curriculum topic, we have been focusing on  community safety. We have discussed the different types of transportation we can use to get from point A to point B. One of our usual trips is to take the Metro to downtown Portland. So before riding the bus we spent some time  reviewing all the aspects of taking the public bus system. Did we have our bus passes and identification? What is the weather going to be like while we are out? What time do we need to leave in order to get to the bus stop in time? We made sure to have our bus passes in hand when  getting on the bus to give to the bus driver independently and then take our seats! When getting off the bus we  always talk about the safety of walking on the street, and also identified the different signs that we would see walking in a populated area. There is a lot to consider when navigating in the city and it is good to continuously review the steps and safety measures!

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 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.

Tweens has had such a fun few months. In August we welcomed several new members, and had not one, but two ice cream socials! In September we got into the fall spirit with some fun autumn crafts, and  coming up soon we're looking forward to everyone's favorite Tweens of the year- Hallow-Tweens! This will be on  Friday, November 1st.   Come wearing your costume-we can't wait to celebrate  together!

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 

Wednesday Night Educational Series

Wednesday Night Ed has had a very busy few months! In August we learned all about Safety Basics, and in September we focused on Personal Hygiene! It's been really exciting to see our class sizes continue to grow and have new faces joining us each month.
In October, we're focusing on Healthy Eating! We'll have guests join us to teach us all about the food gropus, healthy recipes, snacking and more. Please note, we will not have class on 10/23, the night of the STRIVE Auction.

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

Active & Waves

The Active and Waves programs soaked up the last month of summer with spending time outside, playing basketball, visiting our local state parks and enjoying the company picnic at Fort Williams. Participants played lawn games, got their faces painted, enjoyed lunch at the pavilion, and special carnival treats of popcorn and cotton candy.

Another highlight this month was our guest art instructor, Kristen, from Maine College of Art. Kristen led two classes of seven participants in art projects. One of the
projects was to create an inward reflection of themselves with lines and colors to
represent their feelings. Profile silhouettes and outlines of their hands were cut out and the participants designed their pieces according to how they were feeling. Their artwork turned out wonderfully!

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


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

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

Fraternal Order of the Eagles
Rick & Bridget Whiting
Cathy Campbell
Barry Dunlap - In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
Sandra West- In Memory of
Barbara West
Martha Ann Savard
Nancy Romano
Gaye Brown
...and an enormous thank you to the hundreds of people who donated to our Kevin On The Roof event!

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

We are in need of volunteers for our Annual Auction!

If you have interest in volunteering with us, contact Whitney at!

Mark your calendars for these upcoming STRIVE events!

STRIVE 25 Baseball Night- Thursday, October 2nd
STRIVE's Annual Auction: October 23rd, 2019
Halloween STRIVE Night-  November 1st, 2019
STRIVE's 20th Anniversary Gala- January 25th, 2020

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 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!