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Teens get paid through After School Matters® programs

After School Matters is now accepting teen applications for its Spring program session. More than 300 programs in the arts, communications, science, sports and technology will be offered beginning the week of February 22 at more than 70 Chicago public high schools, as well as Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library and community organization locations throughout the city, and downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. Teens can search and apply for Spring programs online at

In total, more than 7,000 paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities will be available to Chicago high school teens this spring through After School Matters. Spring programs will meet approximately three days a week for three hours per day over the course of 12 weeks. Participating teens will be eligible to earn a stipend of between $275 and $425 (depending on the program level), and interns can earn $10.00 per hour.

A TEEN PARTICIPATING in one of the many After School Matters programs applies what she learned in her technology program through hands-on work with a circuit board.
A TEEN PARTICIPATING in one of the many After School Matters programs applies what she learned in her technology program through hands-on work with a circuit board.

“After School Matters is committed to positively impacting the lives of Chicago’s teens — our city’s next generation of leaders,” said Mary Ellen Caron, chief executive officer of After School Matters. “Through new and exciting programs in a variety of content areas, we want to inspire teens to find their passions and empower them with the tools necessary to develop valuable skills needed to succeed in high school, college and beyond.”

After School Matters’ unique programs offer teens an opportunity to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for their futures. Multiple independent studies and recent data have confirmed that teens who participate in After School Matters programs have higher Freshmen On-Track rates, improved school-day attendance and higher high school graduation rates than their peers.

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

Aztec Dance Chicago — Arts

Location: Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy High School, Little Village

In Aztec Dance, teens learn the history and culture of Aztec-Nahua dances, musical rhythms and songs through field trips and hands-on workshops with local Aztec dance professionals and dance groups. After participating in these workshops, students showcase what they learn through presentations.

Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars — Science

Location: Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory High School, Roseland

The Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars program offers teens the opportunity to explore the careers of aircraft pilots by interacting with professionals in the field, learning about the history of minorities in aviation, and gaining first-hand experience flying and operating an airplane.

Social Documentary — Tech

Location: Phillips Academy High School, Bronzeville

In the Social Documentary apprenticeship, teens learn the skills needed to write, direct and produce a short documentary. After developing those skills, teens will pick a documentary topic of their choosing and then film and edit footage to bring their visions to life.

Urban Hardball (and Softball) — Sports

Location: Columbus Park, Austin

Urban Hardball is a community initiative created to encourage African-American children to participate in little league. Teens train and study to become umpires and trainers, with opportunities to work with Little League programs during the following summer.

Cricket — Sports

Location: Warren Park, West Ridge

In the Cricket program, teens will learn the strategy of the game — the second most popular sport in the world — as well as how to referee matches. After learning those basics, the teens will head to the field to showcase what they’ve learned in a cricket competition.

TEENS IN THE Advanced Culinary Arts Downtown program serve food they prepared at Summer Teen Cuisine lunch series.
TEENS IN THE Advanced Culinary Arts Downtown program serve food they prepared at Summer Teen Cuisine lunch series.

Chicago Lights Urban Farm — Science

Location: Chicago Lights Urban Farm, River North

Through growing, harvesting and selling fresh produce, teens in the Chicago Lights Urban Farm program acquire life skills by learning how to grow produce from scratch, and prepare delicious and nutritious meals for neighbors in their community.

 Colored Girls Are Cover Girls — Communications

Location: Firehouse Community Arts Center, North Lawndale

Colored Girls are Cover Girls is a unique program utilizing poetry as a means to create change and impact lives while stimulating growth among girls of color. The program teaches young women that their voices and their writings are valuable tools to educate their peers and community on the plight of young women of color thus empowering them to release and become stronger.

Digital Imagination — Tech

Location: Kroc Center Chicago, West Pullman

In a challenging introduction to digital media, teens explore digital music recording, video and audio editing, and website and graphic design. Teens learn skills including leadership and collaboration as they work together to complete a final project showcasing their digital imaginations.

Teens can search and apply for Spring 2016 programs at All After School Matters programs are free and open to Chicago teen residents who are at least 14 years of age (16 years of age for internships) and are currently enrolled in high school. As part of the application process, teens interview with program instructors to discuss and present their skills and interests. Chicago teens are encouraged to apply early, as program opportunities fill up quickly. New application features include an interactive map to help teens search for programs, and a fully responsive mobile functionality. For questions about programs and applications, call 312-742-4182 or email [email protected].

For more information, visit Follow After School Matters on Twitter at @aftrschoolmttrs, on Facebook at, on YouTube at mttrs, and on Instagram at AfterSchoolMatters.

About After School Matters

After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high quality, out-of-school time opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Over the course of our history, more than 200,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications, science, sports and technology. Programs take place at locations throughout the city including Chicago public high schools, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations, community-based organizations and downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts.



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