STRIVE, which stands for Socialization, Transition, Reflection, Innovation, Vocation and Education, is a non-profit organization based in South Portland that assists tweens, teens and young adults with intellectual disabilities. Beginning in 1999, STRIVE sought to provide recreational and social opportunities, with a focus on creating peer support. STRIVE held its first teen night December of that year, with just four members walking through the door. Today, the organization has grown to serve over 950 members through ten different social, educational, post-secondary and employment programs. The goal of each program is simple—to provide opportunity and independence.
STRIVE Night - Each Friday, the PSL Services/STRIVE Center opens its doors for STRIVE Nights, a social program for 15-24 year olds. Teens and young adults join together for a night of games, dancing and interacting with their peers in a safe and inclusive atmosphere. A member-lead Advisory board meets to develop new, exciting ideas to enhance the program, including monthly theme nights such as a Halloween Party, Spring Fling and STRIVE Idol.
Tweens - in 2010, STRIVE expanded its services to serve 11-14 year olds through our Tweens program. Held each Friday afternoon, Tweens provides a safe, structured atmosphere to expand social opportunities for middle school students. Whether it is dance class, a baking lesson or an afternoon of arts and crafts, each week consists of an engaging activity lead by community members or PSL Services/STRIVE staff, designed for this age group.
STRIVE’s Wednesday Night Educational Series - for 15-24 year olds, provides numerous educational opportunities for our members. Classes are held every Wednesday evening at PSL Services/STRIVE Center and are taught by community members or PSL Services/STRIVE staff. Class topics vary from month to month. Past topics have including Cooking and Culinary skills, Career Exploration, Internet Safety, Banking and Budgeting and Healthy Relationships.
After School - is a program designed for Middle and High School students to provide education beyond the classroom. Created in 2006, this program is highly individualized, working on goals such as homework, cleaning, community involvement, social skills and more. This program runs throughout the school year with schedules modified for each individual.
Camp STRIVE - is held every school vacation, including the full summer, for 11-24 year olds with intellectual disabilities. The program provides members with the opportunity to make friends play games and learn valuable skills in a day camp setting. Each week, campers participate in arts and crafts, games, cooking, physical activities and field trips to local attractions such as Portland Sea Dogs games, state parks and area beaches. Campers are supported by caring, trained and professional PSL Services/STRIVE staff. Camp Run Monday-Friday of each vacation week, with early drop-off and late pick-up options available.
STRIVE 25 - is a social program similar to STRIVE Night, though for STRIVE individuals aged 25 and older. It is held the first Thursday of every month from 6-8pm in the PSL Services/STRIVE Center. Dinner is served during STRIVE 25 and other activities include dancing, bingo, board games and more.