After School Matters® Summer Program Application Now Open for Chicago Teens


After School Matters applied for the summer, programs are now open, providing opportunities for thousands of Chicago high school teens in the arts, communications, leadership, sports, and STEM fields. Programs begin July 5 and will take place in person at locations across the city as well as through select remote options. No vaccine is required to participate. Teens interested in applying can visit

Registration for After School Matters is free, and teens earn money for participating. The amount earned in each program depends on the age of the participants, the level of expertise required for the program and the weekly program hours. This summer:

  • 14- and 15-year-olds can choose from pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship programs, both of which offer stipends for attendance.
  • teenagers 16 and over can choose between an advanced apprenticeship or an internship which will offer them an hourly wage of $15/hour.

After School Matters is offering these new $15/hour opportunities for 16-20 year olds in line with the City of Chicago’s One Summer Chicago (OSC) initiative to provide Chicago youth with advanced opportunities where they will learn career skills from base that they can apply to their CV for a future internship or job.

“As the future of our city, Chicago teens deserve to have all the resources available to them to explore their passions and shape their future. participation this summer as they prepare for life after high school,” said Mary Ellen Caron, CEO of After School Matters. “After School Matters programs introduce Chicago teens to people, places and ideas they might not otherwise know.Our programs help bring communities together – bringing together Chicago teens from across the city to learn from our professional instructors and learn from each other.

Summer programs offer teens the opportunity to expand their subject matter skills while developing critical thinking skills in problem solving, social awareness, collaboration, and more. The programs offer a combination of one-on-one time with mentor instructors, group participation, as well as individual work time to complete various projects.

This is the first summer in nearly two years where the majority of program opportunities will be offered in-person across Chicago at After School Matters locations and in partnership with community organizations. Although most programs are in person, remote options are available for young people who prefer them.

Hundreds of programs will be offered this summer, and below is a sampling of some of the exciting programs available for Chicago teens. For a full list of programs and to apply, visit

Advanced Culinary ArtsTeenagers learn new cooking skills and perfect their basic techniques. Participants receive the training needed to obtain jobs in the culinary hospitality industry or simply to prepare healthy, sustainable meals for themselves and their families. Teens will also learn the arts and techniques of cake decorating, table setting and catering for large groups.

Astronomy & SpaceTeens learn about urban astronomy and celestial bodies by watching and discussing space-themed movies, conducting physics experiments, studying NASA and manned space travel/rockets, while discovering careers in the field of astronomy and space. By the end of the session, teens will be ready to present and display the newly acquired astronomical knowledge for their friends and family.

Design.Build.Growth.EatTeens explore the connections between people and nature and learn about the process of agriculture and the concept of whole foods – building their knowledge of the environment and their ability to positively impact it to create peace and produce.

The design of the gameTeenagers learn the fundamental concepts of game design and development through play, analysis, and game creation. Participants will play and analyze existing games (digital and analog) and then create new ones based on the knowledge they have acquired through the program.

Children DancingTeenagers are exposed to dance as an art form, a professional opportunity and a tool for self-expression. Participants will learn and perform a variety of dance styles, foster personal artistic growth and professional discipline through this program.

Yollocolli La Mesita: radio and live streamingTeens explore and tell the stories of their communities through journalism, audio and radio production. Participants learn production skills while gaining the tools to be civic community journalists and storytellers. They will work as a team to research a story, often interviewing community members, local artists and other teens in the process. Their work will be peer-edited and published in various media. Collectively, the participants produce a weekly radio show that airs on FM through a partnership with a local radio station.

All After School Matters programs are free and open to Chicago high school students ages 14 and older. As part of the application process, teens meet with program instructors to discuss their interests. Teens are encouraged to apply early, as program opportunities fill up quickly.

For questions about programs and applications, call 312-742-4182 or email [email protected]

For more information en Español call 312-846-7106 or mándenos un correo electrónico al [email protected]

For more information, visit


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