The Crusader Newspaper Group

Applications now open for Chicago high school teens

After School Matters® opportunities offered in Spring 2020

After School Matters® is now accepting applications for Spring 2020 programs, which will begin the week of February 10. Students can choose from more than 400 programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports and STEM offered at various Chicago public high schools, as well as Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library and community organization locations throughout the city. Programs will also continue to be offered downtown at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts and at The Michael and Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters in Belmont Cragin. Teens can search and apply for Spring programs online at This mobile-friendly application includes an interactive map to help teens search for programs, as well as a full Spanish translation feature.

After School Matters programs offer teens an opportunity to expand their subject-matter specific skills, while also developing critical thinking skills in collaboration, problem-solving, social awareness and more. Multiple independent studies have confirmed that teens who participate in After School Matters programs have higher Freshmen On-Track rates, improved school-day attendance and higher graduation rates than their peers.

In total, nearly 7,000 paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities will be available to Chicago high school teens this spring through After School Matters. Participating teen apprentices will be eligible to earn a stipend of up to $425 depending on the program level; interns can earn up to $10.50 per hour.

“This spring, After School Matters is providing nearly 7,000 teen opportunities in safe, productive and inspiring environments that will prepare them for college, careers and beyond,” said After School Matters CEO Mary Ellen Caron. “The skills that teens learn in our programs help them to develop a strong foundation that they can build upon throughout the rest of their lives.”

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

Advanced Culinary Arts – Arts

Location: East Side United Methodist Church/East Side

In this program, teens learn new culinary skills and perfect their basic techniques. Teens 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 also learn the arts and techniques of cake decorating, table setting, and catering for large groups.

Advanced Fashion Startup @ Lutz Center – Arts

Location: Lutz Family Center/Belmont Cragin

Teens enrolled in Advanced Fashion Startup learn how to use a sewing machine by incorporating practical and experimental techniques. Teens create wearable fashions and home accessories. Entrepreneurial skills such as starting and launching a fashion line will be highlighted as well. Think “Shark Tank” meets “Project Runway.”

Astronomy – STEM

Location: Gallery 37 Center for the Arts/Loop

Are you a star gazer or interested in outer space? If so, take flight with the Astronomy program. Learn to navigate the skies and identify celestial bodies. Spend this session using telescopes, electronic star charts and other scientific instruments. Activities will also include experiments, visiting the Adler Planetarium and understanding physics, rocketry and astronomical study.

Lego Robotics – STEM

Location: Pui Tak Center/Armour Square

Teens in the Lego Robotics Program are exposed to the fundamentals of the engineering design process and robotics through interactive activities and project-based learning. Using Lego Mind- storm Robots, teens construct and program robots to accomplish complex tasks as their final project.

Tumbling into Fitness – Sports

Location: Hoyne Elementary School/- Calumet Heights

Tumbling into Fitness introduces teens to basic tumbling skills that include conditioning and flexibility exercises and strength training. Teens also study nutrition and learn to create healthy meal plans for themselves and their families. Teens embark on a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry to observe the heart exhibit and the nutrition exhibit, participate in an on-site workshop with a registered dietitian, and conduct a nutritional evaluation of water and other drinks to determine the effects each has on the body’s development.

Urban Hardball (and Softball) – Sports

Location: Columbus Park/Austin

Urban Hardball is a community initiative created to encourage teens in Chicago to participate in baseball/softball little league. Teens in this program train to become umpires and coaches, by learning the rules of baseball and softball and developing their leadership and communication skills.

Teens can search and apply for Spring 2020 programs at All After School Matters programs are free and open to Chicago teen 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 [email protected]. Para mas información en Español llámenos al 312-846-7106 o mándenos un correo electrónico al [email protected].

For more information, visit www.-

After School Matters provides Chi- cago high school teens with high quality, after-school and summer opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Since 1991, After School Matters has offered more than 350,000 opportunities to teens, helping them gain valuable knowledge and skills which have helped them discover their passion in life. Programs take place at locations throughout the city including Chicago public high schools, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations, community organizations, downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts and in Belmont Cragin at the new Michael and Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters. For more information, visit

Recent News

Scroll to Top