After School Matters® partners with Chicago Housing Authority to offer 520 young teens a head start on career exploration

Jun 30, 2021

Press contacts:
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Karen Vaughan: (312) 786-6666; (312) 656-0743;
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 935-2646; (312) 523-7067;

After School Matters®, Chicago’s largest provider of out-of-school programs, is partnering with the Chicago Housing Authority this summer to provide 520 CHA teen residents the opportunity to explore career fields of interest, practice academic skills and make connections.

The program, Learn and Earn: Career Connections, is for residents ages 13-15. It starts July 6 and runs through August 14. Led by content experts, teen participants will explore the field of entrepreneurship, culinary and hospitality, healthcare careers, computer science and coding, manufacturing and technology, communications, or arts and technology.

“With everything our city’s teens have experienced over the past year, we are delighted to offer a way for younger teen residents of CHA to not only participate in After School Matters’ proven programs, but also an opportunity to use the summer to continue work on key academic skills they will be able to use in school and in a future career they choose,” said Mary Ellen Caron, CEO of After School Matters.

With the guidance and support of a certified teacher and the use of an adaptive online learning program, teens will also practice math and literacy skills as part of their work. The programs are designed to engage the teens in facilitated reflection and workshops that support their efforts to connect their career interests to necessary 21st century and academic skills. As with all After School Matters programs, the teens will receive a monetary stipend for their participation.

After School Matters typically works with teens 14-19, but this new program focuses on younger teens, ages 13-15, exposing them to potential career fields of interest and tailoring academic skills exercises and learning to make connections and prevent summer learning loss.

CHA CEO Tracey Scott said, “At CHA, we recognize the importance of providing meaningful opportunities for summer employment for our youth. Through Learn and Earn, hundreds of young teens will spend their summers exploring potential career paths, while also earning a monetary stipend, showing them that their time and work is valuable. We are grateful to After School Matters for their ongoing partnership and look forward to a fun and rewarding summer for more than 500 CHA teens.”


About After School Matters 
Celebrating its 30th year in 2021, After School Matters is a nonprofit organization that provides 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 350,000 teens throughout the city of Chicago.

Chicago Housing Authority:
The CHA’s vision is to foster strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago by increasing affordable housing choices for low-income families. The CHA is also the largest rental housing owner in the City of Chicago. It serves more than 133,000 people in 63,000 households across the city through our Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher programs. For more information, visit