Air date: Saturday, 08 August 2015
Guest: Pete Brown (& “Best of” Ricky Craven)
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan
Pete Brown was born and raised in Maine and now he’s working to make it a better place for young adults with developmental disabilities. He’s been working with PSL, the agency that supports the STRIVE program, since 1998. Now, as the Program Director, Brown oversees the ever-growing program list for the agency’s ~900 clients.
PSL is an agency that is partially funded by the office of Adults with Cognitive and Physical Disabilities and the Office of Adult Mental Health Services. Although PSL offers many privately paid services, such as Friday Night Socials and a Wednesday Night Education series, Medicaid pays for their residential program, STRIVEU. STRIVEU is a two year residential program that gives young adults the opportunity to receive a post-secondary education while also teaching them life skills, home skills, and how to be an active member of their community. Brown stated that for every STRIVEU alum, the government saves ~$50,000 versus a similar person who may live in a group home or utilize more social programs.
They try to offer programs that fit the needs and wants of their clients and the community – programs that the state is unlikely to offer or pay for. Brown says when PSL comes up with an idea that benefits their clients, they’ll make it work regardless of whether or not they have the funding. If they won’t receive government support for the project, then they will go out and raise the money themselves. The STRIVE Rocks! Dance Marathon, held annually at the Maine Mall is one of their bigger fundraisers. Currently, PSL is trying to raise money to purchase their office space on Foden Road in South Portland and to support a new program called TOPS (Transitioning for Preparing Students).
For more information about PSL’s programs, how to volunteer, or to donate to PSL/STRIVE, visit their website at pslstrive.org.
They’re also on Facebook (facebook.com/STRIVEnation) and Twitter (@STRIVE_PSL).