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  • The Adolescent Leadership Council (TALC)

  • TALC Award

    Dr. Chase Samsel, TALC Resident Director, and Jodie Neukirch, TALC Program Manager, receive the Promising Practices Award for Promoting Adolescents' Strengths sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics' Adolescent Health Partnership Project from Frank Donahue of the AAP.

    Read the press release

    TALC mural

    A mural created by children in the TALC program

    Living with a chronic illness can be a frightening, alienating and confusing experience, perhaps particularly so when combined with the already existing challenges of young adulthood. Since 2005, TALC has been providing a forum for adolescents living with diseases such as asthma, diabetes, lupus, cancer and sickle cell anemia to come together with students from local colleges including Brown University, Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), who are also chronically ill.

    Starting in the fall of 2012, TALC is the official "Youth Advisory Council" for Hasbro Children's Hospital. TALC is open to 13 to 18 year olds who have the diagnosis of a chronic medical illness. TALC has meetings every month (September through May), an annual team-building retreat, an annual overnight summer leadership camp, periodic social events, and art related events.

    The Adolescent Leadership Council (TALC) strives to prepare teenagers for the transition to adulthood and independence by providing them with mentors they can relate to.

    The goals of TALC:

    • To provide a forum for teens with chronic illnesses to discuss their experiences
    • To introduce teens to college-age role models who are successfully transitioning to adulthood
    • To decrease isolation of group members

    Parents are an integral part of the TALC program, offering support to their children and each other through participation in the Parent Council.

    TALC Jr. is a program for 8 to 12 year olds and their parents that meets every other month throughout the school year. TALC Jr. has the same goals as TALC but is for younger kids. Some of the teens in TALC act as mentors for TALC Jr.

    A large part of TALC's success is due to its faculty advisors: Diane DerMarderosian, MD, Michelle Rickerby, MD, and Matthew Willis, MD.

    More Information

    For TALC news, updates and patient advice, read our latest newsletter. For more general information about TALC, to view past newsletters, photos, upcoming TALC and TALC Jr. events, and for more information on how to join, please visit our external website

    Contact Us

    TALC is a free program available to all chronically ill adolescents and their families. If you are interested in joining, or know someone who could be a good fit, please contact Jodie Neukirch at 401-444-7563 or by email at

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