After School Matters is now accepting teen applications for its spring 2018 program session.

More than 400 programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports and STEM will be offered at nearly 150 Chicago public high schools, as well as the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library and community organization locations throughout the city.

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

“After School Matters is committed to providing teens with inspiring and engaging opportunities to explore their interests,” said Mary Ellen Caron, chief executive officer of After School Matters. “Through our programs, teens are able to further develop their passions and expand their skill sets, which we know will help them succeed in college, careers and beyond.”

After School Matters’ unique programs offer teens an opportunity to develop their current skills while incorporating critical 21st century skills like collaboration, problem solving, social awareness and more.

A few of the exciting programs offered in Austin this spring include:

Green Star Bricolage at Michele Clark High School: Participants learn the fundamentals of mosaic, sculpture, photography and painting in order to create a large-scale bricolage mural in their community. Students work with industry professionals to learn the basics of public art and design, and develop leadership and cooperation abilities through numerous projects.

Urban Hardball and Softball at Columbus Park: Teens will train to become umpires and coaches by learning the rules of baseball and softball, and developing their leadership and communication skills. Participants will practice what they learn with Little League programs.

Learn to Swim at Austin College and Career Academy High School: Teens have the opportunity to train to become lifeguards. Participants learn aquatic rescues, CPR, and other life-saving skills. At the conclusion of the program, teens may apply for lifeguard certification for future employment opportunities.

STARS (Strong Teens Acting Real on Stage) at Michele Clark High School: S.T.A.R.S. is an actor’s boot camp for young actors who want to work hard, be challenged and learn the art of acting. Students build on acting foundations, experiment creating bold characters with improvisation, and learn the best way to approach film, television and commercial scripts.

The Berklee Initiative at Chicago West Community Music Center: Berklee City Music engages teens in a music education program designed to prepare them to pursue higher education and reduce specific music-related achievement gaps. The cutting-edge curriculum is centered around present-day music styles that teach theoretical, listening, improvisational and performance skills. Teens who play musical instruments should bring them to the program.

Teens must be at least 14 years to apply (16 years old for internships) and be attending high school. As part of the application process, teens interview with program instructors.

For more information, call (312) 742-4182 or email