Your Summer Guide to Chicago


After School Matters® is a popular program for teens and the application process is now open for sessions that begin June 25. After School Matters® has more than 700 programs in the arts, communications, leadership, sports and STEM fields at Chicago public high schools. The programs are also offered in the Chicago Park District, at the Chicago Public Library and various community organization locations throughout the city. This is the largest amount of summer programs After School Matters has ever offered.

In total, nearly 13,000 paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities will be available to Chicago high school teens this summer through After School Matters. Participating teen apprentices will be eligible to earn a stipend of up to $725 depending on the program level. Interns can earn up to $10.50 per hour.

A few of the exciting programs offered throughout the city this summer include:

AeroStars Aviation Exploration – STEM

Location: Young Women’s Leadership Charter School/Douglas

In this program, teens discover the rich history of aviation and participate in experiments, modeling, airport design and flight simulation. Participants gain hands-on experience in the aerospace industry through field trips to local airports, aerospace businesses, aerospace museum exhibits and the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Chicago Lights Urban Farm – STEM

Location: Chicago Lights Urban Farm/Near North Side

At the Chicago Lights Urban Farm, teens learn about agricultural tools and develop skills in urban farming. As they grow, harvest and sell fresh produce on an urban farm, they also serve the neighborhood by preparing delicious meals with nutritious food and sharing healthy eating habits.

Chicagoland Mosaic Mural: Bead Town – Arts

Location: Millennium Park/The Loop

Teens in this program will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “Largest Bead Mosaic.” They will learn how to solve problems while using beads repurposed from one of the most famous parties on earth Mardi Gras!

Girls in the Game Summer Camp – Sports

Location: Douglas Park/North Lawndale

Teens in this program will come together to play sports and learn about healthy lifestyle choices from positive adult role models. Camp counselors and adult staff will lead clinics on more than 30 different sports and fitness activities and offer interactive workshops on health and leadership topics.

Hidden Treasures – Sports

Location: 6th District Police Office/Auburn Gresham

In this program, teens work alongside Chicago police officers to learn from one another and explore skills in dance and performing arts. This partnership supports positive relationship building between the Chicago Police Department and Chicago youth.

#IncreaseThePeace – Communications and Leadership

Location: Back of the Yards

#IncreaseThePeace is an apprenticeship program run by the Resurrection Project that will teach teens the basics in community organizing. By the end of the program, teens will have conducted three campaigns either on community safety, a beautification project or hosting an information session on community issues. The young leaders will also have a meeting with Back of the Yards Alderman and be able to have a question and answer session with the alderman that will depend on what issues are most important to the students.

Peacemakers – Communications and Leadership

Location: Lutz Center/Belmont Cragin

Through the Peacemakers program, teens work to stop the violence and make a positive contribution in their communities. Teens will learn about the peace-building process, reflect on their communities, recognize their roles as peacemakers and design a project to spread the message of peace. This program is one of fifty After School Matters Peacemaker programs throughout the city. The project will conclude with an opportunity for teens to showcase their accomplishments.

Underwater Robotics – STEM

Location: Northeastern Illinois University/North Park

This program will focus on developing participating teens basic understanding of engineering, design and manufacturing using 3D printers. Teens will develop inquiry-based approaches for the creation of robots through sketching and building. They will also develop computer-aided designs to build attachments for competition needs.

West African Djembe Drumming – Arts

Location: Church on the Block/Austin

In this program, teens will explore the rich tradition of the West African Djembe drum, including its music, geographic/ethnic origins and cultural significance. They will develop skills in basic hand techniques for djembe drumming and stick techniques for dunun drumming, culminating in a final showcase performance.

Teens can search and apply for summer 2018 programs at All After School Matters programs are free and open to Chicago high school students who are at least 14 years of age (16 years of age for internships). 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

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