After School Matters is proud to offer thousands of opportunities every school year and summer to Chicago teenagers in the arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, these programs are offered at no cost to Chicago teens or their families. Whether your children are teens currently in After School Matters programs, teens interested in getting involved or former participants in our programs, we look forward to engaging you and keeping you up to date with what is happening at After School Matters.
Engage with our social accounts and tell us how you feel about After School Matters. We would also love to hear why After School Matters to you and your family! For any specific questions or concerns, contact us.
After School Matters programs positively impact Chicago teens and their families in many ways.
The only way your teens can enjoy the benefits of After School Matters is by enrolling in a program and attending regularly. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school parents should encourage their teens to get involved with After School Matters and attend every day the program is in session.
Studies have found that teens who participate for multiple program cycles are the ones who experience the most benefits, so please encourage them to stay involved.
If your teen is at least 14 years of age and currently enrolled in high school, they should visit our Teens page to begin the application process. Apprenticeship programs are offered at schools, parks, libraries and community organizations all across Chicago, including The Michael and Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood and Gallery 37 Center for the Arts downtown. Space is limited in all After School Matters programs, so teens should apply for two or three programs each cycle in case their first choice is full.
At After School Matters, your teen will have the opportunity to find their future through programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports and STEM. They will gain hands-on experience with projects while working alongside skilled professionals and their peers. Teens will be able to earn a stipend or pay, based on the level of their program. Programs meet for 10-weeks during the school year and six weeks during the summer. Learn more about the structure of a program day, including teen breaks, and how to make sure your teen is on track to be paid in this guide.
During certain programs, instructors may permit teens to take short breaks so teens can eat or buy a snack, use the restroom, stretch and move, or take a “brain break.” Taking short breaks helps teens stay focused! These short breaks may be unsupervised and teens may be permitted to leave the program site during these breaks. After School Matters is not responsible for teens during these breaks. If you have any questions about breaks, please contact your teen’s program instructor.
We want nothing more than post-secondary success for all After School Matters teens. To achieve this, teens can inquire and involve themselves in post-secondary skills and opportunities through our programs and network with professional communities, starting with their instructors. To view a list of post-secondary resources and helpful guides, visit our Resources for Teens page.
After School Matters is transitioning away from paper checks and will move towards paying teens via two options: direct deposit or Wisely Pay by ADP Card. The Wisely Pay card is a reloadable prepaid card that teens can keep no matter where they work or what program they’re in. It allows them to receive their stipend or pay immediately, giving them the ability to spend and manage their money easily. The card can be used like a regular debit card at any place that accepts Visa or Mastercard, such as grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and retail stores. Starting January 2019, we will begin enrolling all teens without direct deposit onto the Wisely Pay card (note*: teens will still have the option to enroll in direct deposit if they don’t want the card).
Learn more about the Wisely Pay card, and find answers to frequently asked questions here.
We are excited to announce that you will now have the option to receive your stipend and wages electronically. Teens can elect Direct Deposit to make your payday an easier and faster experience! This change would eliminate the distribution of paper checks to your program.
In order to enroll in Direct Deposit, you will need the following information:
To enroll, please click the link below:
The Teen Pay and Stipends page is a new way for your teen to see if they’re on track to get paid for the current program session. Teens can access their personal page by logging back into the After School Matters application using their Spring 2019 Application ID Number. Once logged in, they can navigate to the Teen Pay and Stipends Page and see if they are on track to be paid!