PSL Services / STRIVE Newsletter

September 1st, 2020
COVID-19 Update
As the summer comes to an end, 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! 

STRIVE for 5: Virtual 5K 

Have you been wondering how the STRIVE for 5K will work this year? Well you are in luck- we have an answer! This year, we are combining the 5K and Kevin on the Roof. How, you ask? See the details below! *please note, there will be no block party this year* 

The STRIVE for 5K will be virtual this year! You might be wondering how a virtual event works. It's easy! All participants have the ability to make their own 5K course- whether that's walking in your neighborhood, running a certain trail or previous race course, or using a treadmill at your own home or the gym. 

We're asking you to participate in honor of STRIVE and Kevin over the Kevin On The Roof kick-off weekend of September 18th. You will have the choice to complete the race in your own time on September 18th, 19th, or 20th- whatever works best for you! All race participants that complete the 5K during the weekend will receive a race t-shirt and collectors item finisher's medal after the event. We will mail shirts and medals, so be sure to share with your friends "from away" as well! Since this is a virtual race, anyone can run from anywhere! We will also be giving out prizes for; the runner/walker who is furthest away, best costume, and more! Check out our medal design below! 

Registration for the event is only $30 (kids 12 and under are free!) and is open through the event day (will close at 11:59p on 09/20). You can register a! All PSL/STRIVE employees are able to register for free (contact Whitney at for your special code). 

 Be sure to post your own pictures from the event, using hashtag #VirtualSTRIVEfor5, so we recognize all that are participating! All funds raised from the race will go towards Kevin's 2020 roof total. Kevin has even agreed to complete the 5K on the roof! 

Kevin On The Roof 2020

Though many events look a little different this year, one event is able
to stay the same- Kevin On The Roof! The event will take place as planned, with some extra safety precautions in place. 

As mentioned above, Kevin will be heading atop the roof of Patriot Subaru starting Friday, September 18th! Kevin's 2020 fundraising goal is $45,000! How long do you think it will take him? 

As always, we have some very special raffle items and prize packs for our donors, with the possibility of more being added! Check them out below! 

Donors who give $50 or $100 gifts will receive some great prize packs! They include:
$50: A free 12oz. beverage at Aroma Joe's, BOGO bowling/arcade passes at Spare Time, free 6 in. sub from Subway
$100: All of the above plus a ticket voucher for a 2020-21 Maine Mariner's game! 

Donors also receive raffle tickets with their donations of $1o or more! Raffle tickets can also be purchased. 
This year's raffle prizes are: 
-Webber Grill, donated by Lowe's 
-"Fall Package" including a RYOBI Electric Jet Fan Blower donated by Home Depot, leaf bags, and the chance for the STRIVE team to rake your lawn! 
-An Apple Ipad with Airpods 
-A $500 Irving gift card 

We'll also be hosting a free Flu Shot Clinic from CVS at Patriot Subaru! Join us on Sunday, 09/20 from 11a-2p to get your shot! In order to attend, you will need to pre-register for the clinic. A link will be sent out soon to do so. Keep an eye on your inboxes! 

 Be sure to follow Kevin's efforts on our social media pages, or come for a visit at Patriot Subaru! 

For more information about either event, please contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney, at

Do you ever spend time wondering where your money went? You are not alone. Join us for STRIVE WorldWIDE's Money Management course to create a personal budget, learn to be an informed consumer, practice financial decision-making strategies, and more! 

We meet online twice a week (so you don't have to worry about social distancing) and have self-paced content for you to work on whenever it fits your busy schedule! Class starts September 14. 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.

August was such a fun month for the STRIVECast! We interviewed a bunch of interesting people - like the President and Founder of Partners for World Health, the Staff Naturalist over at Maine Audubon, and more! We can't believe we're almost done with a SECOND year of our show - our third anniversary will be happening in October - don't miss out!

Do you have guest suggestions, ideas for fun games we could play, or want to participate in the Ask Noel segment? Shoot us an email at! We'd love to hear from you. The Ask Noel hotline is still up and running, too - you can leave Noel 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 are still loving virtual STRIVE 25! Even though we can't be together in person, it is nice to be able to see our friends virtually every other week. A highlight of our weekly social is always karaoke! There is definitely a wide range of musical taste in the group! 

Please note- we will be meeting back to back this month! September's STRIVE 25 will take place Thursday, September 3rd and 10th at 6pm! We will return to our regular, bi-weekly, schedule in October! 

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


We've had a busy month here at STRIVE U and are looking forward to a busy September! A few highlights of this month were a videographer coming to campus to film a video for our open house, some exciting learning group topics and a 2 week long "pandemic orientation"!

During pandemic orientation we went to various places in the community that are safe for us to access (they have a takeout window, curbside pickup, outdoor spaces, etc). We went to tons of different locations and learned some great skills around social distancing and making sure we're always wearing a mask in public.

At the beginning of August we wrapped up our unit on Emergency Safety where we learned the differences between an emergency and non-emergency situation. During class we were able to practice our fire safety skills on campus and at our own homes with a timed fire drill! We are currently discussing stress management techniques and how to develop positive habits that lower our overall stress levels in our daily lives. Along with that, we are discussing current events once a week and staying connected with what is going on in the world around us.

We're looking forward to starting our online classes with SMCC in September. Over the spring and summer we've had lots of great opportunities to practice online learning and are excited to expand our online learning through SMCC!

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.

At Bayside this month we have been working on Community Behavior, for example how we handle situations on the street and in our classroom. For our food goals we just finished up a series Go, Slow, and Whoa foods, learning about what foods are good to eat. We are now going into how eating right will help our 5 senses. Students started off with hearing and how important it is to take care of our ears. 

For our math goals we are working on 2 digit place value. In current events each week we look up some good news that is happening in world and or a topic of interest. We all had a good time learning about how to harvest cranberries and that United States is the largest producers of cranberries. On Fridays we at Central Bayside connect with Bayside on Zoom and play games like Jeopardy, a two new games for us; Scattergories and Kahoot .

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 has moved!   Previously located at the STRIVE Center on Foden Road, TOPS has moved into PSL/STRIVE's Central location on Darling Ave- right down the road! TOPS will begin their 6th school year this September in its largest space yet. The 4-room wing of central will allow for social distancing, room to break out into smaller groups and plenty of new technology.

Interested in a tour? Our TOPS team has put together a virtual tour to allow our school partners, families and related service team members to get a quick look into the space in a safe way! Just ask Kelly or Betsy to send you the link!

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 207-289-7961.


Next STEP continues to flourish with our in-person programming in our new space at STRIVE Studios. The participants have quickly learned the aspects of keeping safe and still having a quality experience while the world works through this pandemic.

While in the program this past month, we have gotten to know each other better by doing some games and team building activities together. Last week we had a rousing game of bocce ball! We are also making sure to pay attention to our own physical and emotional health during this time by doing regular work-out sessions, meditation and yoga. We have even done "chair yoga"!

We are also continuing to incorporate life skill lessons into our days. We have discussed kitchen knife safety and watched a Gordan Ramsey knife safety lesson on the right knives and correct procedures for cutting different vegetables. We will continue to build in these learning opportunities in our new program space and with COVID related safety precautions in place.

We are accepting new participants. Please contact Betsy Morrison for more information at or 207-289-7961. 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.


STRIVE Night continues to be a blast each Friday night, and August was no exception! Even before COVID-19, August is typically a slower month for us, as many people are away on vacation our out enjoying the beautiful Maine outdoors. We've had a smaller group the past few weeks - but that's just given us more time to catch up with each other, as well as have some more turns in karaoke, AND play some intense rounds of bingo and charades!

While we of course miss seeing everyone in person, we are so grateful to be able to have a way to still connect with each other, while still being safe. If you or someone you know would benefit from our online socials, let us know!


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

We had another fun month of Tweens this month, catching up with our friends on Zoom and playing some fun get-to-know-you games! We're so glad to be able to have this outlet to connect with our peers and friends. If you or someone you know could benefit from our weekly virtual Tweens social, let us know!

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

We just wrapped up a great refresher on Independently Living skills. We reviewed kitchen and food safety, apartment safety, internet safety, and the importance of scheduling and organization. Even though most have us have already attended many different classes on independent living, it is always good to have a refresher- especially now that most of us are at home and have time to practice! 

In September, we will start a series on Time Management. We'll start the month practicing how to tell time, including how to read the time on different types of clocks, adding and subtracting time, and more. Throughout the month we will also discuss how we're spending (and maybe wasting) our time and some ways that we can better manage it! 

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

As program has opened back up, some things are the same as other things are different. Some of our favorite things remain the same such as dance with April, walking around and exploring the neighborhoods, exciting art groups, chair yoga, and watching movies, just to name a few!  

Of course, there are also some things that are different that take some getting used to. Everyone is adjusting to wearing masks and being responsible for their own space and keeping distance between peers and staff. Also having our own boxes with our own materials. While we are not traveling in cars or out into the community, it is still really nice to get to touch base with everyone in person.

In other news, our Zoomiverse is also alive and well, and continuing to change every week! On top of new group offerings, we now have virtual community events that take place on Tuesday evenings and even Saturday evenings! Staff and participants enjoy these events because the atmosphere is not like every other Zoom group. Virtual community events give attendees something to look forward to at the end of the day and week. Not to mention we almost ALWAYS play a game at the community event.


 Another big hit has continued be our virtual exercise groups! From yoga to Zumba and Qi Gong to Movement with Thom, we have exercise options for everyone and every time of day. Not only does exercise get everyone off the computer chair, but it makes exercise fun to workout together. All in all, ACTIVE is staying active and we are doing our best to stick together through it all! Stay healthy and happy!

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. 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!

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!

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 September- 
we hope you have a great day!

Elizabeth Langworthy
Justin Crockett
Olivia Frankl
Jessi McCalmon
Sarah Bean
Myles Frederick
Dominic Arsenault
Sierra Tuttle
Ruby Hawk
Nicholas Sutter
Sam Newcomb
Xander Tillman
Sam Keiter
Diego Brochu-Senkbeil
Kelsey King

Happy Birthday! 
Thank You to Our August Donors!


Melissa Harborne
Angelique Carson
International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) 
Barry and Lisa Allen ~ In Memory of Jake Shapell 
Patti Trygg~Patti's Machine Quilting 
Katie Spotz

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

STRIVE Member Spotlight 

Meet Gabby! Gabby is a STRIVE member who, with her mom
 Joanna (pictured right) sold HUNDREDS of masks in exchange for STRIVE Rocks donations! We are so grateful to Gabby and her family for their incredible generosity, and for staying up all night long with us during Virtual STRIVE Rocks! Check out the news story on Gabby and her mom here! If you'd like to purchase your own mask from Gabby and Joanna, send an email to!

STRIVE Volunteer Spotlight 

Meet Melissa! Melissa is our newest intern from the University of New England. Melissa was originally going to start her internship in May, but due to COVID19, her internship was pushed back a few months. Melissa is now ready to start with us and we are so excited to have her! 

Melissa will help us with planning our Wednesday Night Educational classes, will support the STRIVE events team with planning and organizing upcoming events, will help with booking podcast guests, and will also spend some time with PSL/STRIVE's Case Management program. Melissa might event pop into a few of your Zoom  classes! Welcome to STRIVE, Melissa! 

General Announcements

*We will be closed Monday, September 7th, in observance of Labor Day.*

Virtual Tweens: Every Friday from 3:30-5:30pm
Virtual STRIVE Night: Every Friday from 6-9pm
Virtual STRIVE 25: Thursday, September 3rd and 10th
Virtual STRIVE for 5K: September 18th, 19th, and 20th
Kevin On The Roof 2020: Begins Friday, September 18th
STRIVE's 16th Annual Auction- The Virtual Edition: Online bidding October 21st-October 28th (more info to come!)

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!