Kevin Keep is the founder of Rebuilding Generations. He remembers on..
When one in four children don’t have a father figure at home, and the other three often struggle to make a “connection” with their fathers, programs like Rebuilding Generations stand in the gap. Today, too many young people fail to see value in the life experiences of the older generation. On the other hand, adults feel helpless in making a connection with them due to social media and technology barriers.
Back in 2010, Kevin Keep of MyDeals, LLC realized the magnitude of this problem and decided to make a difference. Kevin realized that rebuilding a car might be an effective and dynamic way to bring the youth and “Old Guys” together.
He soon launched Rebuilding Generations as a place where kids from the community could have an outlet. Most importantly, they were being mentored by experienced adults while rebuilding and modifying vehicles. Sure enough, both generations ended up learning from one another, building trust and having fun together.
Seven years later, Rebuilding Generations continues to serve youth on a weekly basis. Meeting at professionally-equipped workshops and garages in the community, the group of young and old hears a word of encouragement before tackling various projects on hand. Together, they might learn how to fix broken glass, repaint a fender, or repair an engine. The objective of each week is to add to their skill set in workshop mechanics while growing in confidence personally and relationally.
The “Old Guys” who serve as mentors are experts from all walks of life. Other young adults grew up in the program and have decided to give back by mentoring the younger ones. All mentors undergo background checks and through the program develop meaningful relationships with the youth.
Community members donate vehicles, generous sponsors supply car parts and tools, and mentors offer hours and hours of time. Sponsors, including… , recognize the impact that comes with combining alluring custom vehicles, mentors, and youth at Rebuilding Generations.
Since 2017, a handful of these kids and mentors have worked toward and attended the exclusive annual SEMA (Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association) Show in Nevada. At this premier automotive specialty products trade show, they’ve showcased their project cars, met and interviewed celebrities in the car field, and represented Rebuilding Generations.
Whether an opportunity for a father and son to bond, or simply have another positive adult influence in their life, Rebuilding Generations gives both generations a chance to learn from and teach one another…a legacy that will bear fruit for years to come.
The dream is to take the Rebuilding Generation model and expand it across the nation. In a couple of years we hope to start multiple chapters of Rebuilding Generations across the country, offering after-school programs throughout the week, and making all the difference for kids at risk.
*As a 501c3, non-profit, we are primarily funded by the generosity of our mentors and sponsors. The greatest challenge we have right now is space. For the past several years we have used garage space offered to the program by local mechanics and mentors. This poses a number of problems which would be resolved if we had our own permanent location. A fantastic location has been identified, and a capital campaign is in the works. Please consider supporting the efforts here.
Currently, we have a father and step-son in the program, and because of RG they are now talking and starting to repair a relationship that otherwise might never have improved. Another young man had not had a father figure in his life for many years and is now looking to start another chapter of Rebuilding Generations in another town. A young woman grew up in a broken home and has found in her weekly RG gatherings a community of men and women who have been mentors and advocates. We have a father and son who struggled to find things to do together. Though they knew nothing about cars, they now have something to do together. We can’t wait to see the lives that RG will continue to transform.”