Teens Visit Teza Technologies
Monday, January 5, 2015

Last November, Teza Technologies, which promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education among young people, hosted teens from After School Matters’ Health Science Explorers program.  Teza CEO, Misha Malyshev, has served on After School Matters’ advisory board since 2013 and has a Ph.D. in astrophysics.

During the visit, After School Matters teens worked in small groups with Teza employees in a resume writing session.  They learned how to identify skills and experiences relevant for college and job applications, and discussed proper resume formatting. 

Next, the groups participated in a mock interview workshop, where Teza professionals posed typical interview questions to the students and provided feedback not only about their responses, but also about their physical presentation, including body language and eye contact.  Each group discussed their common strengths and weaknesses, and identified traits and behaviors that could make them stand out among the crowd in future interview scenarios. 

Finally, the teens and volunteers shared personal anecdotes and their mutual gratitude over pizza and cupcakes in Teza’s kitchen.  It was an inspiring and educational event for the teens and Teza alike!

For more information about Misha Malyshev:

For more information about Teza:

After School Matters Celebrates Chicago Teens, Demonstrates Impact at Annual Gala
Monday, November 24, 2014

Nearly 300 Chicago teenagers who participated in After School Matters programs this summer celebrated their accomplishments by showcasing their work at the After School Matters Annual Gala on Tuesday evening. The event, which was attended by approximately 1,000 civic, corporate and community supporters, included a variety of teen performances as well as teen visual art, science and technology displays.

The Annual Gala, held in the Lakeview Terrace and Grand Ballroom of Chicago’s historic Navy Pier, was presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and hosted by Mellody Hobson—Chair of After School Matters and President of Ariel Investments—Nora Daley, E. Robbie Robinson and the After School Matters Board of Directors. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Amy Rule once again served as the Gala’s Honorary Chairs.

“It is critical that the City of Chicago and its partners provide our youth with safe, productive and enriching learning opportunities beyond the classroom to support their overall educational experience,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Our tremendous partnership with After School Matters gives thousands of teenagers across Chicago programs and opportunities in a variety of fields, ensuring they are on the path to a successful future.”

For more than two decades, After School Matters has offered Chicago high school teens high quality out-of-school time opportunities in the arts, communications, science, sports and technology that allow them to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond.

“This past year has been incredibly impactful for After School Matters as we served more teens than ever before, including a record 8,000 Chicago teens this summer alone,” said Mellody Hobson. “The support we received tonight will help us give every teen the opportunity to succeed and fulfill their dreams.”

The reception featured teens engaging guests through visual arts displays including drawing, painting, mixed media and skateboard design, metal works, photography, multi-media digital arts, glassworks, print-making and jewelry-making, as well as interactive displays showcasing their skills in engineering, robotics and urban agriculture. The evening’s program included song and dance performances by teens from across the city in a variety of After School Matters programs, including ”Oklahoma!” from the musical Oklahoma! as well as a unique version of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” which concluded the evening. All visual art pieces displayed at the event were available for purchase, and any not purchased at the event will now be for sale at the After School Matters Retail Store, located at 66 E. Randolph. All proceeds directly support After School Matters programming.

After School Matters Citywide Showcase
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Last month, nearly 500 Chicago teens proudly displayed their skills and talents at the After School Matters Citywide Showcase, held at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

Teens from programs across the city demonstrated skills developed during the past year in an extraordinary presentation of performing and visual arts, science and technology. The evening’s performances highlighted the wide variety of programming that After School Matters offers, including performances from Hi Def Dance Ensemble, Chicago Opera Theater for Teens, Queen Nzinga’s Brigade and a martial arts performance by the Leadership Apprenticeship Mentoring Program, to name just a few.

A Teen Gallery displayed throughout the theater lobby featured a variety of one-of-a-kind, teen-created artwork, jewelry, clothing, photography and more, all of which was available for purchase onsite with proceeds supporting After School Matters teen programs. The Teens-in-Action exhibition showcased hands-on, interactive displays from After School Matters aviation, forensics, science and urban gardening programs.

“The Citywide Showcase is evidence of the passion and determination of Chicago’s teens,” said Mary Ellen Caron, After School Matters Chief Executive Officer. “They never cease to amaze me with their conviction and hard work. What they accomplished tonight should make Chicago proud.”

Teens Participate in Google's High School Symposium
Friday, March 21, 2014


Recently, four After School Matters teens from various programs took a trip to Google’s downtown Chicago office for the company’s High School Symposium event. The full-day enrichment program, designed specifically for high school seniors, provided our teens with valuable information as they transition into their college years. Sessions included guidance and helpful tips around professional development, building and leveraging networks and understanding how to manage personal brands.

“I found today to be exciting and really fun. It was experience I will never forget as I learned a lot about personal branding and positive psychology. I never thought about the difficulty of trying to ‘sell’ myself for jobs and colleges until today,” said Mindy, one of the participating After School Matters teens.

Throughout the day, Google employees led the group through a series of breakout sessions that encouraged teens to discover the personal qualities—such as values, strengths, skills and passions—that they will continue to develop as they begin their college experiences and professional lives.  To top off the extraordinary day, our teens got an inside look at Google’s offices on a fun-filled tour…all in all, an experience they’ll never forget!