After School Matters® is a non-profit organization that provides life-changing after-school and summer program opportunities to nearly 19,000 teens Chicago high school teens each year.
Teens are at the core of everything After School Matters does. They are the reason we exist – from the more than 350,000 we have reached since our beginnings, to the many more we must reach in the future.
After School Matters provides teens with opportunities to discover their potential and find their future.
To provide Chicago public high school teens opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond.
We achieve our mission by:
- Designing and delivering high quality, hands-on, project-based apprenticeship programs in a variety of content areas, including the arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM.
- Engaging skilled professionals as instructors who support teens’ growth and development in an intentional and meaningful way.
- Aligning and maximizing the resources of an extensive network of public-private partnerships – including Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Library, and hundreds of community organizations throughout the city – to coordinate and sustain investment in youth development through school- and community-based programming.
- Focusing on continuous quality improvement, data-driven and cost-effective decisions, strengthening skills to encourage improved academic outcomes, and positive impacts for teens, schools and communities we serve.
At After School Matters, we strive to demonstrate and inspire the following professional values, both in our own work and in that of the teens we serve:
- Excellence: After School Matters works to achieve excellence by advancing a culture of responsibility, accountability and sustainability as we continuously enhance both the quality of our program experience for the teens we serve and the efficiency of our operations.
- Teamwork: After School Matters recognizes the value of teamwork among our teen participants and program providers, within our staff and with our extensive network of public and private partners.
- Respect: After School Matters respects, supports and encourages the diversity, talent, creativity, energy and dedication of our teen participants, staff and program providers.
- Commitment: After School Matters is committed to impacting and engaging our teen participants, staff and program providers with meaningful, hands-on opportunities for personal and professional growth, and to positively impacting the schools and communities we serve throughout Chicago.
- Innovation: After School Matters demonstrates innovation and leadership by providing new opportunities and experiences to teens who participate in our programs, and by encouraging our staff and program providers to develop, share and implement best practices in out-of-school time programming.