PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

September 1st, 2019
Kevin On The Roof 2019!

One of our biggest events of the year is just around the corner! In just 13 days, our superhero volunteer Kevin Fitzpatrick will ascend the roof of Patriot Subaru in Saco for his SEVENTH year of Kevin On The Roof!

  This year, Kevin's goal is $45,000!

To start Kevin's rooftop stay off right, we'll be having a big kickoff party starting
at 5pm on Saturday, September 14th with pizza from Otto's! We're excited to make this Kevin's biggest and quickest year on the roof yet! Stay tuned for an exciting schedule of events - there will be a ton of games, activities, contests, and of course raffle prizes!

As always, there will be several ways you can contribute to Kevin's efforts! You can come down and make a contribution in person, and let Kevin lower his donation bucket for you! You can also contribute by texting KEVIN to 71777, or by visiting! We're so excited for another big year on the roof -- see you in Saco!
STRIVE 5K & Block Party!

STRIVE For 5/Foden Road 5K & Block Party! Our Annual 5K Run/Walk is Saturday, September 14th, here at Foden Road in South Portland! Our 5K is a flat, accessible course that is great for new runners and lifelong runners alike! Cost of the race is $20 per person up until September 12th, and $30 per person on the 13th & 14th. More details and registration is available  by clicking HERE! After the race, join us for our annual Block Party, hosted by the Foden Road Networking Group! Local businesses will host various booths and activities, from dunk tanks to balloon animals and more! For more information on our 5K, visit our website or contact us at [email protected].

Save The Date -- STRIVE's Annual Auction!

STRIVE's 15th Annual Auction will be held Wednesday, October 23rd at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland! Details and invitations to follow. 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, so be sure to save the date! 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 [email protected]


STRIVE WorldWIDE is offering a first-of-its-kind online program to teach independent living skills to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities! Join us for a 5-week online Money Management Course starting September 9 with weekly seminars every Tuesday and Thursdays evening from 7-8 PM. Limited partial scholarships available.  See a STRIVE WorldWIDE course in action- Complete the technology self-assessment and pre-registration form Email [email protected] with any questions!


August was such a fun month for the team at the STRIVECast! We interviewed tons of fascinating people, from News Center Maine's Sports Reporter Jessica Gagne, to the  Business Manager for the Maine Bicentennial Commission, Brad Sawyer! We learned so much from the both of them and had such a blast during our tapings. We can't believe we're only a few weeks away from a FULL year of the STRIVECast! We're excited to release a special episode just for the stay tuned!

We now have openings again for sponsorships for the STRIVECast, so if you or a business you know is interested in advertising on our show, send us an email at [email protected]!

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] !

August was an amazing month for STRIVE Nights! We had a fan-favorite theme night, Baseball Night! We were visited by Slugger The Sea Dog, and gifted Sea Dog biscuits from our friends at Shain's of Maine Ice Cream! Thank you so much to both of those fantastic organizations for helping make our night so much fun.

In September, we're looking forward to one of our most popular theme nights of the year- STRIVE Idol! Do you or your friends have a special talent you'd like to share? STRIVE Idol is your night to shine! You bring the talent, we'll provide the microphone and all the rest! 

STRIVE Idol will be Friday, September 27th.

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].

September's STRIVE 25 is Hollywood Night! Come wearing your favorite movie character costume! As always, there will be dinner, dancing, and bingo! Contact Caroline with any questions at [email protected].


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].

On August 10th a group of STRIVE U students, alumni and staff took the long trek to Southern Maine's greatest attraction: Funtown Splashtown USA! Everyone had a fun and long day filled with rollercoasters and water.


As we wave goodbye to summer we welcome our new school semester. On September 3rd send all your positive thoughts to the students on their first day of the fall semester! Students will be taking their Purdue University Global and Learning Group classes every  Tuesday and Thursday.

Looking forward to exciting events to come, we are excited for our Open House which will be on Sunday, October 6th. All are welcome to tour our beautiful campus and get more information on our amazing program! 

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.

We can't believe we're saying this, but as of 5pm yesterday, Summer Camp STRIVE ended for the summer! We had 11 amazing weeks of big adventures, building friendships, and lots of laughs along the way. We want to give an enormous thank you to our counselors Ashley, Caroline, Alex and Mat for all their hard work all summer long. This summer, Camp STRIVE was able to provide summer camp services to 35 campers from all over Southern Maine. Camp STRIVE is one of the only day camps in this area specifically for campers with disabilities, and we are so thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for them. We are sad that it's over, but we know it's not goodbye -- it's "see you next summer!"

Camp STRIVE provides tweens, teens, and young adults, ages 11-24 a supportive, safe and active program during school vacations and throughout the summer. During each camp session, campers participate in a variety of activities, including community trips, arts and crafts, games, cooking, and of course social time. Camp STRIVE is focused on ensuring that everyone has access to the camp experience. We operate Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Campers are supported at all times by our staff, who have completed PSL Services' full training program and are certified Direct Support Professionals.
After School

We are so excited to get our After School Program up and running again! Join us from the end of your students school day til 5pm for a relaxed, engaging and social after school opportunity for students with disabilities. For more information on After School, visit or contact Olivia at [email protected]!
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]!

This past month we have taken a focus on having fun with math and money! During our learning groups we have completed various activities that aim to improve our math and money skills, which we all agree are super important to living an independent lifestyle! Counting coins, balancing our budget books, and identifying the importance of bank and money manners are a few topics we have touched on this past month. After welcoming a few new faces last month, we have made strides in getting to know each other and creating a fun and safe learning environment for all! As our recent changes start to become our new norm, we look forward to continue learning and growing with one another .

We have had quite a busy month with our Friday adventures. From taking the bus to KFC in Westbrook to having a picnic at the Eastern Promenade, we have been determined to enjoy the summer weather while we have it! Our most recent Adventure Day involved taking a walk down to Eric's Pizza where we were able to support STRIVE's very own, Eric Hughes! We enjoyed a nice slice of pizza while putting our money exchange and safety skills into action. As we say goodbye to summer, we are excited to transition from math and money to improving our kitchen safety and cooking skills!

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 finished up their Extended School Year session this month, welcoming in 12 new students for the 6-week program. The summer was broken down into 6-themed weeks; Safety and Awareness, Community Participation and Planning, Adventure, Food, Transportation and Health and Wellness. In the last two weeks, our students attended a group fitness class at Spurling Fitness, rode the Zoom-Shuttle Bus Trolley in OOB, toured at the Greater Portland METRO bus station and walked the 3.6 miles around Back Cove Trail! As the summer comes to an end, our first day of the school year awaits, starting our 5th year of TOPS with 14 part time and 4 full time students, coming from 9 school districts.


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.

Our 2nd year of the Emerge program wrapped up this month. Emerge is a partnership program with area school districts as an Extended School Year option, running for 3-weeks during July/August. This summer, a total of 7 students attended, coming from various middle and high schools in the area. Our students practiced and maintained social skills by participating in team building activities, going into the community for various activities including eating lunch at a restaurant, spending time at the arcade and even attended a Portland Sea Dogs game together! It was amazing to see the students grow throughout the three weeks, adjusting to a new peer group and embracing the STRIVE Community.


One of the ongoing program goals for Next STEP is to continue to promote health and wellness into our everyday lives. With that focus, Next STEP has been taking advantage of the beautiful Maine summer by going on a lot of hikes. Additionally, we have been learning and practicing how to meditate as well as doing different types of workouts like dance workouts and circuit workouts. Next STEP also continues to participate in a specially designed gym class every other week that is taught by a certified trainer through UMed gym. All of these healthy exercise activities continue to be combined with cooking healthy meals and snacks in our weekly food labs.

As we have mentioned before, Next STEP continues to volunteer each week at the Animal Refuge League. In order to continue to give back to this great organization, we decided that we wanted to make toys for the animals and donate them to the Animal Refuge League. We took scraps of cloth, braided and knotted them in a variety of sizes that will be ideal for large and small animals. It feels good to give back to the community!

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.

Tweens had such a great month in August! While we're sad summer is ending soon, we're excited to hopefully see more of our friends as the school year gets into it's full swing! Check out our calendar for the month of September!

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

Our Health & Safety Class was such a success! We learned so many valuable skills, like bus safety, internet safety, and drug & alcohol safety, too! We even learned CPR & First Aid from STRIVE's own training coordinator, Sara Brown. Thank you to all the guests who joined us!

In September, we're turning our focus onto personal hygiene! We'll be diving into the ins and outs of how to keep our body & our spaces clean and healthy. The cost of the class will be $20. For more information, or to register for the course, contact Whitney at [email protected]!

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

Members of the Active program recently enjoyed an extended day at a Seadogs game! When we arrived, we enjoyed a nice summer lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers in Hadlock Field's picnic area, Then we found our seats right behind 3rd base and settled in. After it became a little hot, some of us went to the air conditioned box seats while others stayed in the sun nice and close to the field. The Seadogs won the game 9-0! Everyone had a great time!

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 celebrating birthdays in September- we hope you have a great day!

Olivia Frankl
Jessi McCalmon
Sarah Bean
Mary Greslick
Myles Frederick
Dominic Arsenault
Sierra Tuttle
Philip Mackey
Ruby Hawk
Nicholas Sutter
Colin Cook
Sam Keiter
Thorin Wagner-Peck
Diego Brochu-Senkbiel
Thank You to Our August Donors!

Peter Lawrence
   Jean Ricciardelli
  David & Catherine Crockett
Edythe Harnden - In Honor of Carter Harnden
        Barry Dunlap - In Honor of Caleb Dunlap
        Arts Nails LLC
      Paula & Angela Nordaby
        Kevin Foley - In Memory of Philip Foley
         Roger Graves
        Daniel Reardon & Bernadette Woodcock
         The Estate of Richard Randall Sr.
        Anne Owens - In Memory of Barbara West
       MaryAnn Schwanda & Glenn Sutton
       Joan & Leroy Anderson in Memory of Barbara West

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'll be in need for volunteers for our 5K Race & Block Party! If you have interest in volunteering with us, contact Whitney at [email protected]!

Mark your calendars for these upcoming STRIVE events!

STRIVE 25 Hollywood Night- Thursday, September 5th
STRIVE For 5 Foden Road 5K: September 14th, 2019
Kevin On the Roof Kickoff Party: September 14th, 2019, 6pm
STRIVE Idol-  Friday, September 27th
STRIVE's Annual Auction: October 23rd, 2019

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!