A National Award-Winning Publication

Community Champion Striving for Equity


Tony Diaz

Age: 34

Title: Senior Program Director

Name of Organization: After School Matters


Tony Diaz, Senior Program Director After School Matters 66 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601


Tony Diaz is a leader in the nonprofit and youth development world. A senior program director at After School Matters, Diaz supervises a program management staff and a team of more than 300 instructors and provides nearly 10,000 opportunities annually to teens on Chicago’s North and West Sides. Diaz has worked for the organization for more than 11 years and has dedicated his career to delivering high quality after-school and summer programming to underserved youth.

Growing up on the Southwest Side, Diaz was involved in similar programs and knows first-hand that safe and supporting environments are critical to youth development. Diaz was instrumental in the establishment of the After School Matters community center in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin community. The Michael and Karyn Lutz Center provides teens with experiences in the arts, communications, sports and STEM fields. Diaz’ favorite part of the job is speaking with youth about their challenges, hopes, and dreams.

Diaz has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University. The son of Mexican immigrants, Diaz is proud of his heritage and attributes his success to a strong work ethic he learned from his father who rose before sunrise to go to work every day and his mother who  worked to give her sons a better life. In his personal and professional life, he serves as a mentor to youth and young professionals to let them know they have someone who cares about their well-being and future success.


“Strive to be your best self, but never forget your roots and remember to empower and inspire those who will come after you and be the future generation of leaders.”

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