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Our Impact
and Research

At After School Matters, we understand the importance of providing high-quality program opportunities that will have a positive influence on the lives of youth in Chicago. Learn more about our approach and impact.

Our Research

After School Matters is invested in using data to evaluate our impact, make evidence-based decisions to improve and innovate programs and services for teens, and advance learnings for the broader youth development field.

To achieve this, ASM’s Research and Evaluation team collects administrative and observational program data along with direct feedback from teens, instructors, and parents/guardians via surveys to better understand our community’s program experiences and address their needs each session.

ASM also partners with leading youth development researchers to evaluate the lived experiences of teens, the outcomes of teens participating in ASM programs, and the essential components of high-quality youth-serving systems.

What We're Learning

Building Connections and Community Report

Despite numerous stressors facing young people today, ASM instructors and staff provided a safe, welcoming, and engaging environment for thousands of teens across the city in Summer 2022 to experience incredible personal growth, strengthen their skills, and find a place where they belong during the summer break.

Adjusting to a New Normal: Lessons Learned From After School Matters Summer 2021 Programs

Findings suggest that while teens still face pandemic-related challenges, After School Matters’ high-quality, relationship-based programs continue to inspire teens, support skills development, and contribute to their sense of belonging and hopefulness for the future.

Summer Learning From Screen to Screen: Lessons Learned From After School Matters Summer 2020 Programs

At the height of the pandemic, teens faced elevated rates of food insecurity, financial hardship, and other adult-like stressors. Despite this, teens reported remaining engaged and hopeful after participating in supportive out-of-school time programming that helped them develop important relationships and skills for their future.

My program impacted my life by allowing me to grow and get to know my community more. It allowed me to be myself.

ASM teen

After School Matters programs help make it easy for young adults to gain experience on how to apply and work at a real job. The programs are a great experience and allow teens to gain new skills they might focus on in their future career.

ASM teen

Let's Connect

If you want to learn more about our research or are interested in working together, contact our Research and Evaluation team.