Participants with the After School Matters program, which is now open for enrollment in summer programming. | AustinTalks

After School Matters® is now accepting teen applications for its summer 2017 program session.

More than 600 programs in the arts, communications, science, sports and technology will be offered at more than 60 Chicago public high schools, as well as Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library and community organization locations throughout the city.

Teens can search and apply for summer programs online at

In total, more than 12,000 paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities will be available to Chicago high school teens this summer through After School Matters – the biggest session ever.

Summer programs will meet four to five days a week for three to four hours per day over the course of six to seven weeks. Advanced apprenticeship programs begin the week of June 26, and all other programs start the week of July 5.

Participating teens will be eligible to earn a stipend of up to $725 (depending on the program level), and interns can earn $10.50 per hour.

“This summer, After School Matters is providing more opportunities for teens in a single program session than ever before,” said Mary Ellen Caron, chief executive officer. “This growth is vital because Chicago’s teens deserve safe, productive and inspiring opportunities that will encourage them to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for college, careers and beyond.”

Here are some of the programs being offered on the West Side:

  • AfriCaribbean Arts Connections (at Michele Clark Magnet High School) is a cultural education program that incorporates dance, music and textile art to help teens connect to their roots from the West Side of Chicago and throughout the city to Africa, the Caribbean and beyond. Youth discover the physical, emotional and mental benefits of the arts in a program that features guest speakers, college connections and collaborative events within the community. Teens take part in a final performance to showcase all they learn throughout the program.
  • Brand BUILD (at BUILD Inc.) participants will learn to build your own business this summer. Brand BUILD engages young men and women by integrating entrepreneurship and small business skills with leadership development, mentoring and peer support. Through this program, youth create fine jewelry pieces by crafting patterns and designs, using tools and building jewelry while learning about the skills necessary to build their own business. In addition, instructors and youth facilitate group discussions on current and relevant events that affect local communities in order to promote personal and professional growth.
  • Chicago Slam Works – Hip Hop Poetica: (at Michele Clark Magnet High School) Calling all Austin teens – Develop your poetry and spoken word skills this summer with Hip Hop Poetica, a spoken word program with a hip hop focus. Teens work with spoken word professionals from Chicago Slam Works, attend workshops in hip hop poetry writing and perform your pieces in the community. For the final performance, teens perform individual and group poetry at the Michele Clark African Fest.
  • Environmental Adventurers (at Austin College and Career Academy) lets high school teens develop their own research questions about the biodiversity in Chicago’s environment. Teens collaborate with urban ecologists and develop an understanding of ecological relationships between humans, urbanization and the environment. This environmental education program focuses on four major areas: animal tracking, botany, entomology and climate change.

All After School Matters programs are free and open to Chicago teen residents who are at least 14 years old (16  for internships) and are high school students, including rising high school freshmen and recently graduated seniors.

As part of the application process, teens interview with program instructors to discuss their interests. Chicago teens are encouraged to apply early, as program opportunities fill up quickly.

For questions about programs and applications, call (312) 742-4182 or email