STRIVE News & Updates
September 1st, 2021
Are you, or someone you know in the market for a new job? We're hiring! We have full time, part time, and per diem opportunities available (including weekdays, evenings, and weekends)! We are also offering a $500 sign on bonus plus an additional $250 bonus for those that are already DSP or MHRT certified! Click Here to browse our open positions!

If you have questions about our current openings, contact Betsy Morrison at or at 207-879-0847 x207.

Here's what's happening in our programs!
During Learning Group we walked to Deering Oaks Park to learn about the Farmer’s Market, and toured the YMCA. The YMCA is a great community resource as it has a pool, gym, classes, basketball court and many other amenities! During a personal hygiene lesson we practiced using soap and a loofa in a bucket outside so we know what it is like to get sudsy! A community Officer of Portland visited class to talk about the differences between emergency and non-emergency situations. The police officer took time to answer questions with thoughtful and helpful answers. In this upcoming week we will be baking together!
We’re looking forward to starting classes in person at SMCC in September. We’ve been looking forward to the SMCC campus experience and everything their campus has to offer!
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 virtual tour, or get an application, please contact Katie Collins, Director of Programs, at or call (207) 899-0035.
This month, STRIVE WorldWIDE wanted to share a student spotlight! Meet Cassie! Not only is Cassie a STRIVE WorldWIDE student, but she also writes a column for her local newspaper! Learn about Cassie below and also take a look at one of her recent articles!
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
Our TOPS students completed their 6-week ESY (Extended School Year) Program this month. Throughout our school year, students will explore the Dimensions of Wellness: Social, Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, Environmental, Financial and Vocational.  This summer our group started this process by having a Wellness Week where students began to explore the ideas of Social, Physical, Environmental and Emotional wellness. As a group, we explored Clarks Pond Trail, completed a circuit workout, practiced social wellness by having set time to talk with our peers and they spent a day exploring various mindfulness techniques. It is important that students try different methods in each of these areas to find what works best for their lifestyle. 
Emerge is a 3-week ESY (Extended School Year) experience for middle and high school students from area school districts, with a focus on Social/Emotional and Executive Functioning Skills. This was the 3rd year STRIVE offered Emerge, welcoming in 7 students from 5 respective school districts. Emerge is designed to be a leisure program for students, building in valuable skills through teamwork, planning, and daily social interactions with others. The primary goal of the program is to allow students to maintain the skills they work on throughout the school year during their summer break. 
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 & 14th school year. For more information, please contact Betsy Morrison, or by phone at 207-879-0847.
STRIVE Bayside
WOW! A month has already gone by since we have moved back into Bayside here in Portland. The participants have been very busy working on a variety of skills. After they venture down to the grocery store, participants come back and cook a meal from their weekly meal plan that they create using different recipes. We’ve been working with the toaster oven and microwave so far and there have been some delicious recipes including pizza in a mug and macaroni and cheese with a healthy side of fresh strawberries!

Each morning is spent working on cleaning skills where each participant takes turns cleaning a different room of the apartment each week. A favorite activity is navigating downtown Portland. We have walked to some neat spots such as the waterfront and up to Hadlock Field, while practicing safety with crosswalks and road signs along the way. We have also been checking out the different sections of the Portland Public Library reading all kinds of stories such as a biography on Papi from the Red Sox and a classic; Dr. Seuss.

On Thursdays we take a stroll down to the bank and participants take out money for adventure day and groceries that they budget for. Adventure day has been a blast visiting new bakeries, playing basketball at Deering Oakes Park, tasting specialty doughnuts, trying out some breakfast sandwiches at Joe’s Variety, and enjoying a refreshing ice-cream in the summer heat. 
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
Although Next STEP is currently on a hiatus due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact Betsy Morrison with questions or for more information about the program. Betsy can be reached at or 207-879-0847. 
We have some exciting activities that we started back this month. ACTIVE and WAVES has started going back to dance in person! We have been meeting weekly at STRIVE Studios! Also at STRIVE Studios we started sewing group where they got to make their very own satchel! They all loved it! We also started Art group at STRIVE studios. With the weather being so nice this month we got to explore many local state parks. We have had a great month so far!
On the virtual side, we have been learning how to take great photo’s in photography group. We are learning how to stay active while being at home with activities like dancing and walking! We are learning how to navigate our community virtually by using Google Earth! We are also having fun exploring fun parks on Field Trip Wednesday! It has been a great month! 
*photo taken before our updated mask policy*
For more information on PSL Services/STRIVE's Community Support Day Programs, Active & Waves, please contact Emily at
Wednesday Night Educational Series
Our Wednesday Night Educational Series just wrapped up reviewing an important topic- Time Management! We spent reviewing how to tell time on different types of clocks, estimate how long tasks will take, thought about things we may be doing to waste time, and different scheduling techniques and skills! We think everyone really learned a lot!

We will be taking the month of September off, to allow for our students to get settled in their new school years and fall mindsets. We will see you all in October!
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! The price per series is $20-$30, depending on the series' length. Contact Whitney at  for your link to join class.
It is hard to believe that Camp STRIVE has come to an end! The summer has flown by! We had such a fun 11 weeks together. Even though this summer was quite different than in past years, our campers came prepared to still have the best time! It was so nice to be able to see all of our campers in-person vs. on Zoom like we had done for February and April camps this year!

The summer was full of outdoor games, crafts, special outings and more...and of course, lots of laughs! We welcomed many new campers to STRIVE this year, and also saw many returning faces. Our counselors, Ashely and Ericka (and many others who filled in throughout the summer) always came up with exciting and creative ways to have fun. We hope that our campers had as much fun as we did! See you next summer!
Camp STRIVE is a day-camp experience for campers between the ages of 11-24. Camp STRIVE is held every school vacation (February, April, and the day before Thanksgiving) as well as for the full summer. For more information about Camp STRIVE, contact Alex Woodhouse at
After School
Although STRIVE's After School program is currently on a hiatus due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact Betsy Morrison with questions or for more information about the program. Betsy can be reached at or 207-879-0847. 
In September, we welcome two new staff, Alex and Jules! They are looking forward to all of the fun that is had in Tweens. Check out our schedule below! We are looking to grow our program! Do you, or someone you know, want to join? Email Alex at!
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 Alex at
STRIVE Night continues to meet each Friday night on Zoom! We always have so much fun together. This month, we are also going to get back into the habit of doing a monthly theme night! Friday, September 24th will be our Fall Festival! We plan to do fun fall themed activities and games. Also, feel free to attend in your best fall outfit!
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 Alex at
We are so lucky that STRIVE 25 gets to meet THREE times this month! We hope you'll join us for good conversation, karaoke, and a few rounds of BINGO, September 2nd, 16th and 30th!
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 Whitney at or Alex at!
The STRIVECast had a busy month of August with many great guests! We interviewed Kara Wooldick- Executive Director of Portland Trails, Kate Vickery- President of Make A Wish Maine, Olivia Loneman- Education Manager at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Justin Strasburger- Executive Director of Full Plates Full Potential, and Daniel Ungier- Vice President of Guest Experience and Education at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens! It is so interesting to learn about the many unique organizations and jobs here in Maine! Do you have guest ideas for upcoming shows? Let us know!
The STRIVECast is a podcast brought to you by the team at PSL Services/STRIVE in South Portland, Maine — 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, produced AND edited by people with disabilities! Like what you hear? Shoot us an email at!
Thank you to our August Donors!
  • Terry Monkaba- In Memory of William “Bill” Hughes

  • James and Jessica Blanchard- In Memory of William “Bill” Hughes

  • Gerard Morin- In Honor of STRIVE U 

  • And to the many donors that donated to STRIVE on behalf of those running the Beach to Beacon!
Thank you for your generous support of STRIVE!
With your support, we are able to continue our work each and every day.
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to our STRIVE members with a birthday in September!

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

Meet Josh! Josh is one of our Camp STRIVE campers and has spent his summer with us. Josh says his favorite things about camp are "going to Fort Williams, dancing, singing, and seeing my friends!". Josh does have some great dance moves! Next time you see Josh, be sure to say hello!
Staff Spotlight
Our September Staff Spotlight is Alex Woodhouse! Alex is our new STRIVE Program and Events Coordinator! Alex will oversee a number of our programs (Tweens, STRIVE Night, Wednesday Night Ed, STRIVE 25, and Camp) and will also help organize and facilitate all of our annual events....among many other things! Many of you will get to know Alex very quickly! So far, Alex's favorite thing about STRIVE has been "meeting everyone!". We're so excited to have Alex join our team! Be sure to say hello the next time you see her!
General Announcements
STRIVE Auction 2021
Save the Date! The STRIVE Events Team and Auction Committee are in the beginning stages of planning STRIVE's 17th Annual Auction! We were hoping to hold a piece of the auction in-person, but due to the recent increase in COVID cases we have made the decision for this event to be fully virtual. We will be using "Bidding For Good", which is the same website we used last year for online bidding. Bidding will be open from Wednesday, October 27th- Wednesday, November 3rd!

Are you interested in donating an item or experience to this year's auction? Is your business or another business you know of interested in becoming a sponsor of the event? For all things auction, contact STRIVE Program Director, Whitney, at

Our auction website- - will be kept up to date with more auction details as we get closer to the event.
Community Members Wanted!

Did you know that STRIVE hosts a monthly, free, networking group for those in our local community? The STRIVE Business to Business Networking Group is just one way that we try to be a mutually beneficial partner, with the hope of expanding the networks of our partners and local businesses. 

We are looking to grow! The group meets at noon on the last Wednesday of each month (right now we are meeting virtually). Are you or someone you know interested in joining? Contact Pete ( or Whitney ( for more information about the group and your link to join!
Don't forget, STRIVE has a new store! We've launched an online store to purchase all your STRIVE swag needs! Take a look at all the shop has to offer HERE! There are so many items to choose from AND you can customize any item by choosing the color and STRIVE logo that you want. Happy shopping!