Thousands of Chicago Teens Citywide Begin Spring Session Programs through After School Matters
March 3, 2023
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CHICAGO – Hundreds of world-class programs offered through After School Matters® kicked off this week at locations across Chicago, bringing together thousands of local teens for the next 11 weeks to gain new skills, and explore new interests, and have fun with their peers. All spring programs through After School Matters are paid apprenticeships and internships, and participants earn a stipend. Programs are free and available in the arts, communications, and leadership, sports, and STEM at After School Matters buildings and other locations, including schools and libraries, across Chicago.
“Our programs give teens the opportunity to work and learn in a safe space with peers from different communities and just be themselves without fear of judgement,” said After School Matters Chief Programs Officer Tony Diaz. “Our young people have shared with us how important their programs are in helping them deal with increased stress, depression, and isolation they’ve experienced post-pandemic.”
Spring programs provide teens an opportunity to learn from highly skilled instructor mentors, expanding their skills in various subject matters they can apply to college, their career, and beyond. A few of the exciting programs happening this spring include:
- Advanced Visual Arts: Teens learn and build artistic skills while developing relationships with their peers through various meetings and painting projects.
- Culinary Arts: Teens learn new culinary skills and perfect their basic cooking techniques. Participants receive the training necessary to obtain jobs in the culinary and hospitality industry or simply to prepare healthy and sustainable meals for themselves and their families. Teens also learn the arts and techniques of cake decorating, table setting, and catering for large groups.
- Design.Build.Grow.Eat.: Teens explore the connections between people and nature and learn about the process of farming and the concept of whole food – strengthening their knowledge of the environment and their ability to make a positive impact on it to create peace and produce.
- J-Def Peace Project: Teens learn from and work with a professional artist to create and display a large community mural. They address youth violence and loss and raise awareness of peace and conflict resolution through workshops and group discussions.
- Skate for Success: Teens learn skateboarding techniques, develop brands, set skateboarding goals and personal goals, and motivate each other to succeed on and off their skateboards. The act of skateboarding creates a project-based approach that gives teens direction and goals.
- West Town Bikes: Teens combine bike riding, repair, and safety with city planning and advocating for a more bike friendly city and Belmont Cragin community.
All After School Matters programs are free and open to Chicago high school students who are at least 14 years old. For more information, visit www.afterschoolmatters.org.
** Click here for program additional b-roll. Please credit: After School Matters
About After School Matters
After School Matters is a nonprofit organization that provides world class, after-school and summer opportunities to Chicago public high school teens to explore their passions and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college, and beyond. After School Matters programs are project-based, led by industry experts, and provide a pathway to progress in skills development and independence. Teens earn a stipend while participating in programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Over the span of three decades, After School Matters has engaged more than 400,000 teens throughout the city of Chicago. www.afterschoolmatters.org
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