Your First Summer Job: A Milestone on the Path to Independence 

Do you remember the excitement of landing your first summer job? The joy of learning new skills, meeting new people, and earning money is a welcome intro to adulthood for many. That first job is more than just a paycheck; it’s an important step towards independence, building confidence, and learning skills that will benefit teens throughout college and their future careers. 

However, the journey to that first job can be daunting, particularly because of the paperwork involved. Teens encounter forms like the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification and the IRS W-2 for the first time. This is where After School Matters steps in. Our dedicated staff and instructors are committed to guiding teens through each step of the process, ensuring they understand and complete the necessary paperwork. This not only teaches valuable financial literacy but also sets them on the path to financial independence. 

“With my ASM program, I’ve been able to pay for necessities I wouldn’t have been able to if I didn’t have this job. I’m able to expand on my talents to create a career for myself and my future. This keeps me focused and gives me less time to be idle. I’m grateful for this opportunity.” – ASM Teen 

A key part of ASM’s model has always been paying our teens for taking part in programs. This helps to overcome any barriers to participation and teaches them the value of their time and the importance of showing up ready to work. Our teens tell us that earning money gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment and a way to pay for things they need. Last summer, we paid our teens a total of $9.3 million in wages and stipends. When we invest in our young people, they reinvest in their communities and Chicago. 

This summer ASM’s People & Culture Team will process more than 3,000 I-9 forms from teen interns at several locations, walking them through what documents to bring in person, what forms to fill out, and setting expectations for receiving hourly wages. 

Our support doesn’t stop after a teen starts our programs, our staff and instructors provide guidance on applying to college or a job after high school, preparing for interviews, understanding workplace expectations, and ways to budget and save for the future. By equipping teens with the necessary tools and knowledge, we help them feel more confident and prepared as they enter the workforce. 

We support teens on their journey toward financial independence and professional growth through mentorship and assistance. With our guidance, young people can build a solid foundation for their future. 

Thank you to our People & Culture team for all their hard work supporting our teens through this process, and helping them get paid this summer!