For many of us, COVID provided an opportunity for reflection and reassessment of our goals and our passions. For MMFS alumnus Levitt Yaffe (‘17), the pandemic brought forth an unexpected calling. “I never thought I would be a writer. I am dyslexic and I always hated writing.” But in 2021, he published his debut novel titled Two: The Tale of Light and Darkness, a coming-of-age journey filled with themes of loss, family, retribution, and the search for one’s true self.
“I actually started the book in John Denton’s English class in 6th grade. I had a green notebook that I would write in when I finished my work and had to occupy myself quietly.” Levitt rediscovered his green notebook during the early days of the pandemic, when he found himself bored with Netflix. He enrolled in a creative writing class that helped him apply a critical eye to his work. “It can be difficult to get feedback, but the creative writing process was necessary for me. Through the other stories I was writing in class, I learned how to make my book better.”
Levitt joined the MMFS community in 5th grade. As a student with ADHD, the Quaker practice of silence did not always come easily. But it helped him communicate more effectively by allowing him time to sit and reflect before speaking. “Now, when I have something important I want to say and I’m struggling to find the best way to say it, I remove myself from the situation and have silence with myself.”
After graduating from MMFS, Levitt attended Marist College and received a degree in communications with a minor in psychology. He is currently the head of Digital Media and PR at Mifflin Street Music. He is also a freelance marketing consultant. “At the end of the day,” he says, “I really want to be in the entertainment world. I’d love to work for Paramount or Disney someday.”
Levitt exemplifies perseverance, and encourages MMFS students to reach out to him for advice. He wants to pay forward his success. He says, “Through hard work and dedication, anything is possible.” You can find a copy of Levitt’s book, Two: The Tale of Light and Darkness, at Shakespeare & Co. on the Upper West Side, at the Prince Street and South Street Seaport locations of McNally Jackson Books, or online here.