After School Matters Supporting Thousands of Chicago Teens this Spring with Paid Programs

Teens can apply to hundreds of program opportunities and learn skills in painting, singing, coding, civic engagement, finance, and more

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CHICAGO—Applications are open for hundreds of world-class programs being offered this spring through After School Matters®. Program opportunities are free and are available for thousands of Chicago teens in the arts, communications, and leadership, sports, and STEM. The spring session begins the week of February 27 and lasts for 11 weeks. Interested teens can apply by visiting

Programs offered by After School Matters allow teens to have fun, gain new skills, and explore new interests with their peers. All spring programs are paid apprenticeships and internships, and participants will earn a stipend.

“Our programs give teens the opportunity to work and learn in a safe space with peers from different communities and just be themselves without fear of judgement,” said After School Matters Chief Programs Officer Tony Diaz. “Our young people have shared with us how important their programs are in helping them deal with increased stress, depression, and isolation they’ve experienced post-pandemic.”

Spring programs provide teens an opportunity to learn from highly skilled instructor mentors and expand their subject-matter and critical thinking skills in problem-solving, social awareness, and collaboration through hands on projects. A few of the exciting programs offered this spring include:

Advanced Visual Arts

Teens learn and build artistic skills while developing relationships with their peers through various meetings and painting projects.

Culinary Arts

Teens learn new culinary skills and perfect their basic cooking techniques. Participants receive the training necessary to obtain jobs in the culinary and 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.


Teens 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.

J-Def Peace Project

Teens learn from and work with a professional artist to create and display a large community mural. They address youth violence and loss and raise awareness of peace and conflict resolution through workshops and group discussions.

Skate for Success

Teens learn skateboarding techniques, develop brands, set skateboarding goals and personal goals, and motivate each other to succeed on and off their skateboards. The act of skateboarding creates a project-based approach that gives teens direction and goals.

West Town Bikes

Teens combine bike riding, repair, and safety with city planning and advocating for a more bike friendly city and Belmont Cragin community.

Teens can search and apply for spring 2023 programs at afterschoolmatters.orgAll 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 312-768-5200 or email Para mas información en Español llámenos al 312-846-7106 o mándenos un correo electrónico al

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