For more than two decades, a Chicago group has been working to help troubled kids, and his approach is all about cars. The Automotive Mentoring Group’s (A.M.G.) founder, Alex Levesque, has a mission. “There are two things that resonate with guys, music, and cars. What better way to connect with the youth than sharing my love of classic cars. AMG is proactive against gang violence.

Along with the hands-on approach, participants are well versed in life skills needed to function in society, including respect, honesty, integrity, and the satisfaction of a job well done.” Since 2007, AMG has helped over 300 young men and women turn their lives around. Levesque said, “We have to find a way to recycle these human beings, and we just use cars to do it. It’s where my heart is. It’s what I must do.” 


Alex goes on to say, "We meet our participants where they are and work towards what they need and want in their lives through consistent and genuine mentorship and exposure to resources and opportunities. Our mentors range from school teachers to police officers and firefighters to experienced clinicians, and we provide the training in auto-mechanical and body-work. The participants learn how to deconstruct and rebuild a car from the outer body frame to the engine. They are also taught the basics of custom car design, sewing upholstery, installing canvas tops and carpeting, as well as painting. As our participants learn to deconstruct a car, they are taught to deconstruct and evaluate their lives and rebuild them with positive influences and new choices that come with new-found opportunities. We additionally focus on life skills, social and emotional awareness and development, and core values such as respect, integrity, and emotional intelligence. We create safe spaces for our participants to come and share their life’s challenges and to get away from their regular day experiences. One participant at a time can change an entire community."


Alex and his team have been customers at Eastwood’s Alsip store since day one. They are stocked with Eastwood products, including our English wheel, parts washers, chemicals, and cleaners. His go-to Eastwood product is the English Wheel.


Whether you are having a good or bad day on a project or in life, Alex’s advice for everyone is “Keep showing up. Keep moving on.”