Join the After School Matters Community

Find Your Future

CLICK HERE to apply for Spring 2015
programs and internships!

To participate in After School Matters programs, teens must be Chicago residents at least 14 years of age and currently enrolled in a Chicago Public Schools high school (*a limited number of opportunities are available to teens who attend non-CPS schools).

Cook with local celebrity chefs! Dance at the Chicago Theater! Paint a mural on the side of a building! Create animation and design logos! Build robots for national competitions! Grow a community garden and sell your products at a farmer’s market! Develop your sports skills and mentor youth on your way to a potential job as a recreation leader or lifeguard!



Thousands of opportunities are available at  no cost:

  • Develop your skills in the arts, science, sports, technology or communications
  • Learn career readiness skills to help prepare you for life after high school
  • Work alongside and learn from professional instructors
  • Make new friends in your community and throughout Chicago
  • Work with professional instructors who are among the best in their fields, and
  • Have fun!

In addition, After School Matters teens who participate this Fall will be eligible to earn a monetary award.

*IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS: We encourage teens to apply for up to three programs to increase your chances of being interviewed and accepted into at least one. If you apply, and the instructor thinks you would be a good fit for their program, they will contact you (by phone or email) to set up an interview. Not all teens who apply will be invited to interview, and not all who interview will be accepted into a program. If you do not receive an invitation to interview with the instructor by the time programs start (in January), then we encourage you to apply for alternate Spring programs or for our next Fall program session once applications are available right here. 


After School Matters programs are offered at community organizations, parks, high schools, libraries and Downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts.


  • Click here, and you will be taken to the online application system.
  • Select After School Matters and search for the programs that interest you. You can apply to interview for up to three programs but can only participate in one. Search for programs near you using the 'High School' and 'Zip Code' menus. Find advanced apprenticeship programs downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts by typing "Downtown" into the Keyword field.
  • Programs that offer CPS service learning credits are identified with a star icon right next to the program name.
  • You must complete the online application, and then interview or audition in order to be accepted into a program. Not all teens who apply will be interviewed or auditioned, and not all teens who interview or audition will be accepted. While both steps are required, they do not guarantee placement in a program. If you are selected to interview or audition for a program, the instructor will contact you.
  • PLEASE NOTE: To participate in programs, teens must be Chicago residents at least 14 years of age.

Programs fill up quickly, so apply today!

Application Cycle
For Fall Programs—Apply in August-September
For Spring Programs—Apply in November-January
For Summer Programs—Apply in April-June