After School Matters is now taking applications for its spring 2019 lineup of programs, which will start the week of Feb. 12, according to a statement the organization released Dec. 3. 

“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,” the statement reads. 

“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 officials said that they’ll introduce a new program called Winter Takeover, which is a four-day experience for teens who want to participate in After School Matters programming over winter break. 

The Winter Takeover will take place from Jan. 2 to Jan. 5 at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, located downtown. 

“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,” officials said in the statement. “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.” 

According to the statement, there will be nearly 7,000 opportunities for young people to take advantage of After School Matters’ paid apprenticeships and internships. 

“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.”

Mary Ellen Caron, the CEO of After School Matters, said that 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.”

To apply for After School Matters programs, visit For more information on After School Matters, call 312-742-4182 or email