Vaughn L. McKoy’s autobiography, Playing Up: One Man’s Rise from Public Housing To Public Service Through Mentorship, recounts the life and struggles of a young African American male, born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, a depressed and impoverished community. Vaughn works his way to Rutgers University on a football scholarship, and after graduating presses on to become a successful attorney, civil servant and business leader. Vaughn acknowledges and makes clear to readers the critical role that effective mentors can play in the lives of today’s youth.
Mr. McKoy’s book, “Playing Up”, is an engaging, informative and inspiring memoir that can speak to audiences in all walks of life. For the inner city kids coming up in similar environments to the one’s Vaughn hailed from, this book shatters the firmly held misconceptions that claim that the impoverished cannot shake loose the grips of poverty. For those youth that grow up thinking the American dream is outside their realm of possibility, this book can serve as a beacon of hope, and reassurance that there is in fact light at the end of the tunnel.Jean-Paul Gooden
A moving story that addresses not just the importance of determination and hard work, but also the importance of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and how to effectively accept help when it is offered. The book could have been titled “How to Pay It Forward.” Also, I have had the privilege of hearing the author speak on a couple of occasions. He is a gifted orator. Hear him if you get the chance.A. Catabiano
This is a compelling story that kept me rooting for Vaughn. He includes lessons learned about rising to the occasion that makes me want to ‘play up’ in some areas of my life. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys a great motivational true story about overcoming the odds and the importance of unselfish mentor relationships. I cannot wait for the movie…or next book!Angela N.
Awesome read! Not just for the black urban youth. Good for all who need to know that hardwork, sprinkled with the right mentorship, pays off.Eric D. Gass
A must read. This book really highlights the difference a mentor can make in someone’s life. A truly inspirational story.Fatima Calcado
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