Our award-winning, year-round programs offer teens, ages 13-18, a comprehensive curriculum to develop the next generation of leaders and stewards. Our innovative programming provides plenty of hands-on experiences and supports teens as they build a wide-range of ecological, nutritional, social, business and financial skills. Our goal is to develop confident and civic-minded teens that are able to give purpose and direction to their lives.
of the teens we serve graduate from high school AND go on to college or post-secondary education
Having an entrepreneurial mindset is an advantage for teens in our fast-changing world. This program educates today’s teens on the fundamentals of running a socially responsible business. Teens increase their skills, confidence and aspirations to effect social change when engage in experiential activities that teach financial literacy and 21st century skills of collaboration, adaptability, innovation, humility and networking.
Our teen run-enterprise provides entrepreneurial training and paid internship opportunities, through the development and distribution of teen-crafted, all natural, body care products, such as; natural olive oils soaps, relaxing shea balms, non-aluminum deodorants and soothing lip balms.
teen jobs were created in 2015 through our Ruckus Entrepreneur program
Emerging Leaders Program
Through this afterschool and summer program teens perform service-learning projects that are essential tools for empowering teens to become agents of positive change in their community. Teens develop leadership, team-building and conflict resolution skills through participating in ecological, nutritional, culinary, artistic and civic-minded activities and projects.
different high schools throughout Chicago are represented by the teens we serve
Emerging Leaders—Carl Von Linne School
This outreach program provides local students with weekly Emerging Leaders curriculum classes at their school. Taught by our Teen Counselors, CPS students get the opportunity to engage in learning leadership fundamentals through a variety of service-learning activities.
Enrollment & Information
Meet Our Community Programs Manager
Gwyndolyn Moss – Community Programs Manager
Gwyndolyn has had a creative drive for being involved with her community throughout her life either through public murals or community service projects. Gwyn started in 2008 as the summer counselor and was promoted throughout the years from Community Programs Coordinator and Lead Teen Counselor to Teen Program Manager in 2012. Since 2009, she serves as our Site Supervisor and Instructor for After School Matters Internships. Gwyn manages daily operations over teen program staff and teens while generating ideas to keep the teen program fresh, leading edge and relevant to community needs. She is a teaching professional artist, endorsed and certified for middle and high school art, as well as a faculty member for the University of Phoenix, in the Humanities department. Gwyn earned her BA in Liberal Arts & Sciences with a painting concentration and an MAE in Secondary Visual Arts Education from DePaul University. She was elected to the Illinois AfterSchool Network [IAN] Board of Directors shortly after winning the 2014 IAN Best Practices Program Award for the Emerging Leaders program.