PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

October 1st, 2020
COVID-19 Update
As fall begins, we continue to increase our programming with both creative online and some in-person, on-ground programming.  The STRIVE team has worked very hard to provide high quality programming both virtually and in-person, while placing our major emphasis on keeping everyone safe.  We are working with each individual program and following guidance from the Maine CDC, OADS, and the State of Maine to make sure that we can go above and beyond the minimum requirements to keep people safe.  If you have questions about your programming options, please contact your Program Manager. 

This is certainly been a challenge, and if you have thoughts or suggestions for either programming ideas, or safety recommendations, please feel free to reach out to Pete Brown at  Please note that things change quickly during this time and we are working hard to be able to accommodate and plan for these changes. Thank you for your continued support of STRIVE and our mission!

Events Update! 

The STRIVE events team had a busy end to September! We had not one, but two, of our annual events happening at the same time- our STRIVE for 5: Virtual 5K and the 8th annual Kevin on the Roof event! Thank you to those that contributed to one, or both, of these events! 

STRIVE for 5 

Over the weekend of September 18th, hundreds of STRIVE participants, families, volunteers, community members and more ran their own version of our annual STRIVE For 5K race! While we really missed seeing everyone in person this year, we were so honored and grateful to see so many people join and carve out their own special 5K just for us. We had participants run, walk, bike, and even paddle-boarded their own 5K course! Check out some of the picture submissions below (did you hear Kevin participated from the roof?!)!


Kevin on the Roof 2020

Kevin is now safely on the ground! Kevin came off the roof Saturday, 09/26 with over $45,000 raised for STRIVE!! Kevin was on the roof of Patriot Subaru for 8 straight days (over 190 hours), making 2020 his longest rooftop stay! 

We, and Kevin, are so grateful for the incredibly generous support from our community. This effort would not have been possible without the outpouring of support from all of you - so THANK YOU for being a part of Kevin On The Roof 2020!

Lastly, our event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors; Patriot Subaru, UPS, Irving Oil, SpareTime, Aroma Joe's, Subway, Lowe's, the Maine Mariners, Central Maine Power, 
and our in-kind sponsors; OTTO's, the Portland Sea Dogs, and FunTown SplashTown! Without all of you, Kevin might still be rooftop camping! 

Congratulations to the winners of our raffles! 
$1,000 Irving gift card: The Sinclair Family
Webber Gas Grill: Kim O'Connor
Apple iPad with Airpods: Friend of STRIVE
Slugger the Sea Dog Appearance: Biddeford Painting

STRIVE WorldWIDE Cooking & Meal Planning... And Acting?

STRIVE WorldWIDE's next course offering is Cooking and Meal Planning. We'd love to have you join us to learn about meal planning, shopping on a budget, following a recipe, and more! 

We are looking for volunteers to help us film some of the content for the class. If you love to cook, love to act, or just love to try new things, reach out to Anne Ryan for a cooking/acting assignment. If you have a recipe you love that you'd like to see featured in the course, send it to Anne!
Class begins November 2. CLICK HERE to register or email Anne Ryan at to learn more.

STRIVE WorldWIDE is STRIVE's online program that teaching independent living skills. For more information about STRIVE WorldWIDE, contact Dr. Anne Ryan at or at 207-879-0847.
We had such a great month of September here on the STRIVECast! We interviewed some really great people, like our friend Mia Bogyo from the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and our superhero volunteer Kevin "On The Roof" Fitzpatrick -- live from the roof! 


During September, we wrapped up our SECOND season of our podcast, and are so excited for all that season 3 has in store! We are switching up some of our segments -- Ask Noel will become Ask Jeff, so feel free to leave us a voicemail or email for Jeff, so he can provide some sage words of wisdom for you!

Do you have guest suggestions, ideas for fun games we could play, or want to participate in the Ask Jeff segment? Shoot us an email at! We'd love to hear from you. The Ask Jeff hotline is still up and running, too - you can leave Jeff a voicemail asking him your life advice question at 207-774-6278, ext. 352!

Thanks, as always, for listening!

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! Like what you hear? Shoot us an email at!

We had two back to back STRIVE 25s in the month of September! Our numbers during STRIVE25 continue to grow as we welcome new members each time we meet. We always have so much fun checking in with one another, singing karaoke and playing a competitive round of Bingo! 

October has many Thursdays, which means we get to meet three times during the month! We hope you'll join us October 1st, 15th, 29th! We'll be celebrating Halloween 10/29 so get those costumes ready! 

STRIVE 25 is a social event for folks 25 and older, and typically happens here at STRIVE the first Thursday of each month (currently running bi-weekly online during COVID-19). For more information on STRIVE 25, contact Caroline (for the in-person event) at or Olivia (for the virtual event) at

The students are set up with SMCC email addresses and student IDs and have been getting to know their new professors. The Second Year students are taking an introductory course offered to all incoming students at the college and the Third Year students are taking a Health and Nutrition course. Everyone has had great feedback so far.


Students have also been going into stores that are within walking distance with staff for items they need to increase opportunities for independence, which has been a nice addition to the program.
We have a virtual open house scheduled for this Saturday, October 3rd - please reach out to Olivia Fraioli at for more information.


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 Olivia Fraioli, STRIVE U Admissions Coordinator at or call (207) 774-6278.

Oh my goodness, what happened to our summer?! It seems it was hot one week and now it is time to change our wardrobe to cold weather. So, this is a reminder to layer up, it is better to take off a sweater or a sweatshirt than not to have one at all. 

This past month we have been working on our goal covering social behavior. For example how do we act in a fast food restaurant vs. a sit-down restaurant. What are some new ways that we need to act in a grocery store, a public park or library? We have also been working on place value in math and just finished up with learning about the 5 senses and how cleanliness is so important to maintaining them.  

We were so excited to chat with "Kevin on the Roof," and each of us made him a poster that wished him the best of luck as he tries to raise $45,000 for STRIVE.


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 started its 6th school year this month, offering two in-person sessions and one virtual session per day, for five days a week. This year, TOPS welcomes seven school districts and 17 students, with 11 of those accessing in-person programming and 6 in our virtual programming.

September has been a month of change as TOPS moved locations and welcomed a new group of students! TOPS is now located at PSL/STRIVE's Central Office location, in a much larger space, allowing the program to have more room for physical distancing. The new group of students quickly adapted to the new protocols and routines as they got to know each other.

The students have participated in various activities including a discussion of volunteer vs paid work, safe navigation of the program space and community related to COVID-19, and money identification. We also really enjoyed talking with Kevin on the Roof through Zoom right here in the classroom.

Interested in TOPS? TOPS (Transition Outcomes Program for Students) provides transition programming for high school students from area school districts who are typically in their 13th and 14th school year. For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison, or by phone at 207-879-0847.

As Next STEP becomes more and more comfortable with our new location and new COVID related safety guidelines, we are building in more life skill lessons and activities. We have recently covered topics that include safe knife skills, cooking demonstrations and self-care strategies. As a way to implement some of what we learned with safe knife cutting skills, we practiced by each cutting up a banana! We are beginning to learn how to practice and build upon these important skills while still maintaining physical distancing.

Of course, we are also continuing to incorporate health, wellness and socialization into our program. Regular activities like yoga, Zumba and art are all life-long activities that are enjoyable, low cost and healthy to build into our lives.

We are accepting new participants. Please contact Betsy Morrison for more information at or 207-879-0847. Next STEP is PSL/STRIVE's unique private pay program that offers a high-quality curriculum and social connections at an affordable rate. It is a great option 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.


September was an exciting and fun month for our Virtual STRIVE Night socials! We said goodbye to some of our members who have aged out, but we are excited for them to join the STRIVE 25 family. We also welcomed some brand new members this month - so it's been a lot of fun to get to know some new faces and have them join our Friday fun.


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 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

Friday Tweens have been lots of fun - and we are looking for some new members to join us! Do you know a tween (11-14 year old) who might benefit from a weekly virtual social? Let us know! We'd love to expand and add some new friends to the group!

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, or Whitney at
Wednesday Night Educational Series

In September we learned all about time management. We started the month off by learning time basics (such as how to read a clock, time "language" and more). We also learned about different apps/technology to help us better organize our time and also how to be better with managing and prioritizing our time. 

In October, we will be learning about social skills! We will spend time learning the difference between formal and informal communication, non-verbal communication, virtual communication, and more! We're excited to get started on such an important topic! 

The Wednesday Night Educational Series is held every Wednesday at STRIVE (but are currently virtual) for participants 15-24 years old. Series are between 4 and 8 weeks and topics vary from month to month! Contact Olivia at for your link to join class. 
Active & Waves
We have been very fortunate to have another month of beautiful weather! Our on-site participants have especially enjoyed art groups, music, qi gong, yoga, rock hounding, birding, and gardening. We currently have 41 participants attending program in person at our various locations, STRIVE Studios on Warren Ave, Central Office on Darling Ave and of course at the STRIVE building at 28 Foden Road.
We continue to Zoom at home as well! The September highlight has been the addition of Field Trip Fridays where staff go to a special location and Zoom with the group from out and about! Participants have been on virtual walks around Mackworth Island and took a tour of the Maine Wildlife Park this month! We are all enjoying getting to see each other daily and explore topics from Science and Book Club to How It's Made and History. There is something on Zoom for everyone!
Pictured here are some of our participants sand art creations from earlier this month as well as out virtual field trip to Mackworth Island!


For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, Active & Waves, please contact Emily at
STRIVE's 16th Annual Auction- 
The Virtual Edition! 

Planning is underway for STRIVE's 16th Annual Auction and invited will be hitting mailboxes soon! This year, like many other events, our auction will go virtual! We will be using a well-known auction website called "Bidding For Good". The platform is simple and user friendly. Not only will you have the ability to browse our items from your own home, in your own time, you will also be able to be notified when someone outbids you and more. We hope you'll enjoy it!

Online bidding will be open from October 21st- October 28th, 2020. You can check out our Bidding For Good site, as well as any auction information you are wondering about, on our auction website HERE

This year, our auction will be free to attend! In lieu of a ticket purchase, we are asking our attendees (if willing and interested) to purchase a gift certificate to their favorite local restaurant, shop, etc. to donate to the auction. Support your favorite local business and STRIVE at the same time

We are currently looking for items for our event! Are you, or a business you know, interested in donating? Email STRIVE Program Director, Whitney at! Items and experiences of any kind are welcome. Remember, we also have a new category this year called Flea Market Flip where we're looking to our community to re-furbish or create some things in their home, and send them our way! We'd love to auction off what you have or can create! Need some ideas? Take a look at this Flea Market Flip item flipped and donated by the Cloutier family! 

Thank you to our auction sponsors who support this event year after year! We are so grateful for you and your dedication to STRIVE! 

Keep your eye out on more information on our annual auction as the bidding dates get closer! 

Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!


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

Aaron Hornbeck-Fielder
Ted Prosack
Thomas Woodman
Matthew Archer
Angie Tourigny
Andy Tao 
Alice Stevens
Kayla Campbell
AJ Bryant
Sarah Doughty
Jacob Roberts
Thorin Wagner-Peck
Patrick Cook 
Ryan Jones
Benden Bouchard
Iseyik Harper

Happy Birthday! 
Thank You to Our September Donors!


Thank you to all those that donated to Kevin on the Roof! We would fill multiple newsletters if we listed all of your names! Your support of STRIVE and Kevin's efforts is so appreciated and truly makes a difference in the lives of so many. Thank you! 

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE! With your support, we are able to continue our work each and every day.

Vote for STRIVE! 

STRIVE has been selected as one of 25 non-profits to advance to the voting phase of Town & Country Federal Credit Union's 2020 Better Neighbor Fund charitable giving campaign!
This fall, Town & Country is giving away a total of $25,000 to eight charitable organizations across Southern Maine receiving the most votes on Town & Country's Better Neighbor Fund Facebook page or website.
Voting begins on Thursday, October 1st and concludes on Saturday, October 31st.  The grant recipients will be selected based on which organization receives the most votes, so help us get those votes!  You are able to vote once a day, every day during the month of October! To vote, visit Town & Country's website HERE or Facebook page HERE! Remember, you can vote one time per day, every day, in October! This is such a simple way to support STRIVE- please share with others! 

STRIVE Member Spotlight 

(photo taken pre-COVID-19) 

Meet Nick! Nick has been a STRIVE member for several years now, and participates in a wide variety of our programs! You can catch Nick at our Virtual STRIVE Nights each Friday, our Wednesday Night Educational Series, and STRIVE WorldWIDE! Nick has also participated in Camp STRIVE, as well. We love having Nick's positive attitude and friendly personality in so many of our programs. We are lucky to have him in the STRIVE family! 
STRIVE Volunteer Spotlight 

We wanted to dedicate this month's Volunteer Spotlight to the man who sleeps on a roof for us- Kevin Fitzpatrick! Kevin, known to most as "Kevin on the Roof"- just finished his 8th rooftop camping trip! Kevin was on the roof of Patriot Subaru for 8 days, raising over $45,000 for STRIVE programs. 

Kevin's dedication to STRIVE and the people we support is amazing. Kevin, who is a UPS employee, takes a week of his own vacation time to not have a relaxing break, but to raise money and awareness for us. Thank you Kevin for all you do for STRIVE! We're already looking forward to KOTR 2021!

General Announcements


STRIVE U Virtual Open House: Saturday, October 3rd, 10am
STRIVE's 16th Annual Auction- The Virtual Edition: Online bidding October 21st-October 28th (more info to come!)
Virtual Tweens: Every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm
Virtual STRIVE Night: Every Friday from 6-9pm
Virtual STRIVE 25: Thursday, October 1st, 15th, and 29th, 6-8pm

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!