Application for the After School Matters® summer program is now open to Chicago Teens


Following School Matters’ bid for the summer, the programs are now open, providing arts, communication, leadership, physical education and STEM opportunities to thousands of Chicago high school teens. Programs begin July 5 and will be held in-person at locations across the city, as well as via select remote options. No vaccinations are required to participate. Young people who want to apply can come by

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

  • Teens ages 14 and 15 can choose between Pre-Apprenticeship or Apprenticeship programs, both of which offer scholarships for participation.
  • Teens 16 and older can choose between an advanced apprenticeship or an internship, which offers an hourly rate of $15/hour.

In accordance with the City of Chicago, After School Matters is offering these new $15 hourly opportunities for 16-20 year olds A Summer Chicago (OSC) initiative to provide advanced opportunities for Chicago youth to earn entry-level professional skills to apply on their resume for a future internship or job.

“As the future of our city, Chicago teens deserve every resource they have to explore their passions and create their future. We are very excited to be able to offer our older teens higher scholarships this summer for their participation as they prepare for life after high school,” said Mary Ellen Caron, CEO of After School Matters. “After School Matters programs introduce Chicago teenagers to people, places and ideas that they might not otherwise experience. Our programs help bridge communities—bringing Chicago teens together from across the city to learn from our professional teachers and learn from each other.”

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

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

Hundreds of programs are being offered this summer and below is a selection of some of the exciting programs available to Chicago teenagers. For a full list of programs and how to apply, see

Advanced cooking skillsYoung people learn new cooking skills and perfect their basic techniques. Participants receive training necessary to get jobs in the culinary hospitality industry or simply to prepare healthy and sustainable meals for themselves and their families. Teens 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 films, conducting physics experiments, studying NASA and manned spaceflight/rockets, while exploring careers in astronomy and space. At the end of the session, the teenagers will be prepared to present and show off their newfound astronomical knowledge to their friends and family.

Design.Build.Grow.EatYoungsters explore the connections between people and nature and learn about the process of farming and the concept of whole foods – strengthening their knowledge of the environment and their ability to make a positive impact on it to create peace and produce products.

game designTeens learn the basic concepts of game design and game development through playing, analyzing, and creating games. Participants play and analyze existing games (digital and analogue) and then create new ones based on the knowledge they have gained in the program.

children’s danceYoung people get to know dance as an art form, professional opportunity and personal means of expression. Participants will learn and perform a variety of dance styles through this program, fostering their personal artistic growth and professional discipline.

Yollocalli La Mesita: Radio & Live StreamTeens explore and tell the stories of their communities through journalism, audio and radio production. Participants will learn production skills while acquiring the necessary tools to be journalists and community storytellers. You’ll work as a team to research a story, often interviewing community members, local artists and other teenagers along the way. Your work will be peer edited and published in various media. Together, the participants produce a weekly radio show that is broadcast on FM airwaves through a partnership with a local radio station.

All After School Matters programs are free and open to Chicago High School students who are at least 14 years old. As part of the application process, young people meet with the program managers to discuss their interests. Teens are encouraged to apply early as program opportunities fill up quickly.

For program and application questions, call 312-742-4182 or email [email protected]

Para mas información en Español llámenos al 312-846-7106 o mandenos un correo electrónico al [email protected]

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