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

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

There is no cost to apply to After School Matters, and teens earn money for their participation. The amount earned in each program depends on the participants age, level of expertise required for the program, and weekly hours of program. This summer:

  • teens ages 14 & 15 can choose from Pre-Apprenticeship or Apprenticeship programs, both offering stipends for participation.
  • teens ages 16+ can choose between an Advanced Apprenticeship or an Internship which will provide an hourly wage of $15/hour.

After School Matters is offering these new $15/hour opportunities for 16-20 year olds in alignment with the City of Chicago’s One Summer Chicago (OSC) initiative to provide Chicago youth with advanced opportunities where they will gain entry-level professional skills they can apply to their resume for a future internship or job.

“As the future of our city, Chicago teens deserve to have every resource available to them to explore their passions and shape their futures. We’re so pleased to be able to offer our older teens higher stipends for their participation this summer, as they prepare for their lives after high school,” said After School Matters CEO Mary Ellen Caron. “After School Matters programs introduce Chicago teens to people, places, and ideas they might not experience otherwise. Our programs help bridge communities – bringing together Chicago teens from all across the city to learn from our professional instructors, and to learn from each other.”

Summer programs provide teens opportunities to expand their subject-matter skills while developing critical thinking proficiencies in problem-solving, social awareness, collaboration, and more. 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 marks the first summer in nearly two years that majority of program opportunities will be offered in-person across Chicago at After School Matters locations and in partnership with community-based organizations. While most programs will take place 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 to Chicago teens. For a full list of programs and to apply, visit

Advanced Culinary ArtsTeens learn new culinary skills and perfect their basic techniques. Participants receive training necessary to obtain jobs in the culinary hospitality industry or simply to prepare healthy and 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 viewing and discussing space-themed films, conducting physics experiments, studying NASA and manned space travel/rocketry, as they learn about careers in the astronomy and space field. By the end of the session, teens will be prepared to present and display newly-gained astronomical knowledge for their friends and their family.

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

Game DesignTeens learn the fundamental concepts of game design and development through play, analysis, and game making. Participants will play and analyze existing games (digital and analog) and then create new ones based off the knowledge they gathered in the program.

Les Enfants DanceTeens are exposed to dance as an art form, professional opportunity, and tool of personal expression. Participants will learn and perform a variety of dance styles, foster personal artistic growth, and professional discipline through this program.

Yollocalli La Mesita: Radio & Live StreamTeens explore and narrate the stories of their communities through journalism, audio, and radio production. Participants learn production skills while gaining the tools necessary to be civic community journalists and storytellers. They will work as a team to research a story, often interviewing community members, local artists and fellow teens in the process. Their work will be peer edited and published on various media outlets. Collectively, 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, teens interview 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

Para mas información en Español llámenos al 312-846-7106 o mándenos un correo electrónico al

For more information, visit

About Post Author


From the Web

Skip to content