PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

October 2nd, 2017
Halloween STRIVE Night

Halloween STRIVE Night is coming up! Don't miss our biggest theme night of the entire year- Friday, October 27th! Join us for costume contests, pumpkin pies, a haunted hallway and more! 6-9pm here in the STRIVE Center. 

We are looking for volunteers for this event- if you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering, please contact Olivia at! 

As summer begins to wind down, STRIVE U students are looking forward to the fall and all the events and activities involved in the season. The students have been enjoying the cool and comfortable weather that fall brings by partaking in many outdoor activities. Some of these activities include playing basketball on campus, picnics in the park, walks in the community, attending local football games and more! 

Students and staff had a blast at the  STRIVE U Family & Friends BBQ on Saturday, September 30th. This gave  the students an opportunity to relax in a fun environment with their peers and family members!
Applications for the class of 2020 are available now! For more information about STRIVE U please contact Bill Hughes, STRIVE U Admissions Coordinator, at 207-774-6278 or

Next Step    

Next Step has had a big month! We went to the Maine Wildlife Park, and learned all about the different animals that life in Maine. Also this year Next Steppers continued their partnership with Kaplan on our community garden! Mimi, a professor at Kaplan, came over and helped us with our gardening skills. At the end of the summer we got to harvest all of the fresh vegetables! We got to make zucchini bread with the zucchini we picked ourselves.
For curriculum, Next STEP is trying something new! Each Next Stepper gets to choose what he or she would like to learn about. For this month, one of our Next Steppers wanted to learn about social etiquette. So to start off the week, we talked about what social etiquette means to them. We learned that social etiquette is not only about manners, but also about social skills and commutation which are great tools to have in life!

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.


What a busy month at Bayside! We said goodbye to two different graduates and hello to a number of new participants!

Dianna and Andrew both graduated this month. Both Dianna and Andrew worked very hard over the past few years on all their goals. We are so proud to see all of the progress you've both made, and excited to see where your next steps in  life will take you. We will 
miss you both so much, but are impressed with all you have accomplished! We have also been welcoming a lot of new participants to Bayside! It is always exciting to see new faces around our apartment. Since we have so many new people, we have been going over some of the 'basics' in learning group, like the rules! While it might seem boring to talk about rules it is important we all know what is expected of us, and why! At the end of the group we talked about what participant's ideas for rules were, everyone came up with some great suggestions! 


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 207- 774-6278 or


Summer vacation is over, and the students are back! The TOPS students jumped right back into programming for the school year.  We welcomed a new student at the beginning of the month, bringing the count to 14 students.  Each student applied for a new 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.  

The classroom jobs will contribute to the classroom economy, allowing students to earn, spend and save money for classroom activities.  Students are required to apply, interview and accept their position  and will rotate jobs every 2-3 months!

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 Kelly Frey,, or Betsy Morrison,  207-774-6278.



We just wrapped up an amazing summer of STRIVE Nights, concluding with September's theme night- STRIVE Idol! During STRIVE Idol participants had the chance to sing their favorite song in front of everyone, and this year we included some guest judges who chose their favorites by turning around in their chair, like on 'The Voice!' This summer we also had a Baseball Theme Night, as well as an Italian Theme Night, where we had an amazing meal from Anthony's Italian Kitchen. We are gearing up for one of our biggest theme nights of the year- Halloween STRIVE Night! Join us for STRIVE's spookiest and most popular event Friday October 27th.

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!  For more information, contact Olivia at

Tweens had an amazing summer! From riding the South Portland bus to meeting new and exotic animals with Sparks' Ark, we tried tons of new things and continued to make new friends. Check out what we've got coming up for October- we're so excited for Halloween season, and hope you'll join us for the fun month  ahead! 

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 Alex at

Wednesday Night Educational Series 

Join us in the months of October and November for our Healthy Relationships series! We know what a big topic this is, and that's why we're devoting two months to really cover as many aspects of healthy relationships as we can. We'll have several great local experts facilitating our sessions. This is a safe place to ask any and all of the questions you've been wondering, and will always be a judgement-free zone. See you on Wednesdays!
For more info, contact Alex at

Camp STRIVE finished an amazing summer, averaging about 12 campers every day! We took went to some awesome places, including the Topsham Fair, York's Wild Kingdom, tons of beaches in the area, Peak's Island, and a Sea Dogs game! We're sad to see the summer come to a close, but we hope to see everyone back next year! Thank you so much to our amazing camp counselors Emily, Deanna, Carly and Lauren for all of their hard work this summer- you did an amazing job!

After School

After School has been off to a great start! So far we've been really honing in on our cooking skills- one of our participants is working on making all of his school lunches on his own, and another is working on cooking new foods to try some new things. We also worked on an awesome project with a visiting artist from Maine College of Art, and made some artwork to hang at STRIVE's Auction! We're excited to get out and enjoy the fall weather and activities, like apple picking and checking out some beautiful leaves. For more info on After School, please contact Olivia at

Aktion Club 

Aktion Club is getting ready for their Halloween Bake Sale, as well as collecting soda tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. Look out for us at coat check at the 2017 STRIVE Auction!

Aktion Club members also attended an event hosted by the Kiwanis, where they received two checks for STRIVE and Aktion Club! We are excited to use this money to go towards our sponsored holiday family.

The next two Aktion Club meetings will be:
Wednesday, October 4th
Wednesday, October 18th

For more info, drop by one of our meetings! They begin at 3:15pm in the big conference room here at STRIVE!

STRIVE U Open House

STRIVE's 13th Annual Auction will be taking place Wednesday, November 8th at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.  Tickets are available online, and invitations will be hitting mailboxes soon! Do you have excess airline miles, season tickets to a sports team, a timeshare, or something else valuable you'd be willing to donate to our auction? Contact Whitney at! See you there!

Happy Birthday to the following STRIVE Members!

Iseyik Harper
Brenden Bouchard
Ryan Jones
Patrick Cook
Thorin Wagner-Peck
Christian Butler
Adrien Rice
Hanna Hollis
Jalen (Arthur) High
Forrest Lizotte
Kayla Labonte
Aaron Hornbeck-Filder
Ted Prosack
Thomas Woodman
Matthew Archer
Angie Tourigny
Andy Tao
Alice Stevens
Kayla Campbell
Angela (AJ) Bryant
Sarah Doughty
Austin Dufour
Erik Santiago
Jacob Roberts
Russell Tracy
Jack Hair
Brenden Kellogg

We hope you have a great day!
Thank You to Our Donors

-          Christopher & Shannon Gorman - In Memory of Gerald Bell
-          Judith Hall - In Memory of Gerald Bell
-          Priscilla Howard - In Memory of Gerald Bell
-          Doris Cook
-          Lorna Bell & Marlene James - In Memory of Gerald Bell
-          W.B. & P.K. Chaplin - In Memory of Gerald Bell
-          Hanna & Matthew Foundation
-          Patricia Vierra
-          Merrill Cargo LLC - In Memory of Gerald Bell

Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE!

General Announcements
-STRIVE will be OPEN Monday, October 9th on Columbus Day.
-STRIVE will be CLOSED Friday, November 10th for Veterans Day.
-We are still accepting donations for our Auction! If you have any valuable items you would be willing to donate, please contact Whitney at
-We are looking for volunteers for numerous STRIVE programs and events, including our Auction, Halloween STRIVE Night, and our Tweens and Wednesday Night Educational Series! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Olivia at


STRIVE Auction-  Wednesday, November 8th @ Italian Heritage Center
Halloween STRIVE Night- Friday, October 27th @ STRIVE

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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!