After School Matters accepting applications for summer programs

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After School Matters

After School Matters® is re-envisioning its summer programs to provide safe, equitable and innovative remote learning opportunities for up to 10,000 Chicago teens.

Students can apply now to more than 400 programs in the arts, communication, leadership, sports and STEM that begin the week of July 6.

Chicago high school students can search and apply for programs at This mobile-friendly application includes an interactive map to help teens search for programs, as well as a full Spanish translation feature.

All remote summer programs are paid apprenticeships and internships. Teens will earn a stipend between $336 and $850 depending on the length and level of expertise required for the program.

“The myriad challenges facing our city are falling hardest on our youth and communities of color, and as the largest after school and summer program provider for Chicago teens, After School Matters teens are seeing and feeling this impact firsthand,” CEO Mary Ellen Caron said in a statement.

“Now more than ever, Chicago teens need paid opportunities to create and express themselves while gaining critical skills which will prepare them for college, careers and beyond.”

While programs will look different this summer, they still offer teens the chance to expand their subject-matter specific skills, while developing critical thinking proficiencies in collaboration, problem-solving, social awareness and more.

Remote programs offer a combination of one-on-one time with instructors, group collaboration as well as individual work time to achieve various projects. Teens who need access to technology will be able to acquire devices through After School Matters.

Here are a few of the remote programs being offered this summer:

GlobalGirl Media: This program develops the authentic voice and media literacy skills of underserved and underrepresented teenage girls from across Chicago by equipping them with skills and tools to consume and analyze media critically, as well as to create and share digital media content and journalism on issues and stories that impact them and their unique experiences as young women in Chicago. This summer their project will focus on creating film and audio pieces that reflect their own experiences in Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bloom: This visual arts program mentors youth within self-resilience, community engagement, and exploring social issues that impact them on day-to-day basis through dialogue and art. Through art, teens will explore the impact of COVID-19 within their communities, and themselves, by designing various of pieces independently while simultaneously participating in virtual dialogues, virtual group projects, and learning creative techniques to guide them in designing through instructor lead tutorials. Each youth will contribute various pieces to an online archive of youth lead artwork, all following youth lead visual art prompts that are both personal reflections and visual activism.

Advanced Culinary Arts: Teens will learn new culinary skills and perfect their basic techniques. They will 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. This summer, each teen will receive a supply kit with ingredients to make delicious meals for their families, fun challenges will be incorporated such as “secret ingredients” that will give teens an opportunity to be creative with their recipes and virtual guest judging panels will recreate fun competitive food plating challenges.

Peacemakers: Teens will work with their peers to stop the violence and make a positive contribution to their community. Peacemakers 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. Young people in this program will gain an understanding of the peace-making process and youth empowerment.

Astronomy and Space: In this program teens will learn about urban astronomy, celestial bodies, viewing and discussing space themed films, conduct physics experiments, study NASA and manned space travel/rocketry, and 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.

Teens can search and apply for summer 2020 remote programs hereAll After School Matters programs are free and open to Chicago high school students who are at least 14 years old (16 years old 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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