Why Teenagers? (Chicago)

After School Matters in Chicago

Dates of Program: January 1999 to August 2006

Field of Work: Reducing substance abuse and improving the health and safety of children

Synopsis of the Work: After School: Connecting Children at Risk With Responsible Adults to Help Reduce Youth Substance Abuse and Other Health-Compromising Behaviors was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that helped develop intermediary organizations in Boston, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area in order to create citywide systems of after-school programs. The intermediaries are neutral, independent organizations that have the resources and focus to bring key players from many sectors to the table and generate broad community support.

One such intermediary is After School Matters in Chicago, which, as this sidebar describes, provides paid apprenticeships for teens in the arts, technology, sports, and communications. "This is a positive, proactive thing we can do, and we know it works because our kids stay in the program," said Maggie Daley, chair of the program.