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The Teri Project

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Nurturing Intergenerational Friendships

The Teri Project connects Toronto Metropolitan University students with residents of long-term care facilities to build meaningful, intergenerational connections. This project aims to address the pervasive issue of social isolation amongst residents of long-term care homes and to overcome the anonymity of aging in these settings.

The Teri Project addresses the disconnection many elderly people face, while offering a unique educational experience for university students.

By matching students in the Faculty of Community Services (FCS) with residents of long-term care homes for regular visits, the project facilitates intergenerational friendships based on mutual respect, empathy and care.

These learning experiences allow students to gain experience in their field of study, develop skills in relational care and become engaged in social issues. They also gain experience working with vulnerable populations, developing their advocacy skills and contributing to creating social change. 

The elderly people that take part in the Teri Project build meaningful social connections; reducing the many negative effects of social isolation.

The Teri Story

Teri Truscott and Taryn Cicchelli

The Teri Project was created in inspiration and honour of the late Teri Truscott. Teri Truscott and Taryn Cicchelli became best friends from meeting each other in the child and youth care (CYC) program at Toronto Metropolitan University University. In her early 70s, Teri was the oldest member of the School of CYC, and the friendship between Teri and Taryn changed their lives forever. The intergenerational pair proved that love, friendship, and genuine care can transcend age. When we nurture these relationships and see people for who they really are, a truly beautiful friendship can last. 

Teri was a lifelong learner and always the funniest person in the room. Her luminous spirit, kind heart, and passion for social justice inspired the creation of, and continues to guide the Teri Project.

Taryn Cichelli with Teri Truscott

The Teri Project

New virtual placement initiative seeks to ease loneliness of long-term care residents amid COVID-19 pandemic

Connecting through Art and Stories

The Teri Project uses relational engagement, art and creative activity to uncover and represent the stories and lived experiences of senior citizens.

Student connecting with resident in long-term care facilities using Zoom

Students regularly visit residents in long-term care facilities or connect using Zoom, developing the foundation of a trusting and meaningful relationship.

A happy senior smiles while looking into a web cam

Senior partners reflect on their lived experiences, their triumphs and their challenges, in the form of stories. 

An illustration with a collage of different elements shuch as flags, a boat and a frog frame the name Elisobeth written in cursive

Students make art projects with their senior partners to represent them, their story and the intergenerational relationship.

Get Involved


The Teri Project is open to students in the Faculty of Community Services. By successfully completing your upper-year placement with the Teri Project, you can earn a course credit and gain valuable experience in relational care and community services. 

Long-term Care Homes

We are seeking partners in long-term care to help grow the Teri Project! If you are interested in working with us, please contact Taryn Cicchelli, Field Supervisor at


“I enjoy it very much and it is exceptionally genial. We like the same books, pets and we both love to talk and listen. The surprise is we are several years apart. She is 20 and I am 94. We both look forward to meeting every week.” - Long-term care resident

“The experience was transformative! It helped me tap into my secret reservoir of strength, empathy and love. I’m now committed to working with people at the end of their life and finding beauty in seemingly mundane moments." - Student participant

“The students have adapted well to each resident and have gotten to know them personally to create different programs out of our residents’ interests. It has been a wonderful partnership and we can’t wait for the day we can have them meet in person.” - Long-term care staff member