Women’s History Month Spotlight: After School Matters CEO Mary Ellen Caron

We are so proud to see our CEO Mary Ellen Caron highlighted in CS Magazine as a nonprofit leader making a difference in Chicago communities. It’s a well-deserved recognition for someone who has dedicated her life to the youth of our city.

In the field of youth development and education, Mary Ellen Caron shines as a leader and changemaker. As the Chief Executive Officer of After School Matters, she leads one of the nation’s largest providers of after-school and summer programs for high school teens. Her journey and accomplishments highlight her dedication to empowering youth and fostering their potential.

Under Mary Ellen’s leadership over the past 12 years, ASM has grown significantly. The organization has expanded its reach into nearly every Chicago neighborhood, offering thousands of additional opportunities for teens and adding new teen-dedicated buildings in the Belmont Cragin and Pullman neighborhoods. Her dedication to creating high-quality after-school programs has set ASM up as the gold standard for programming nationally.

The constant in Mary Ellen’s career has been her belief in young people and her focus on enhancing their well-being and development. Starting as an elementary school teacher in the Austin neighborhood, she went on to serve as the founding principal of Frances Xavier Warde Elementary School. She then held leadership roles within Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services and the Department of Children and Youth Services, leading important initiatives to ensure Chicago’s youth have the support they need to thrive.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we celebrate Dr. Mary Ellen Caron and applaud her dedication to empowering young people. Through her leadership, ASM continues to provide hope and opportunity for teens, leaving a lasting impact on their lives and communities.