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From Collecting Garbage to Studying at Harvard


Collecting garbage and cleaning dumpsters to help keep his academic dreams alive, Rehan Staton, 24, from Bowie, Maryland, had a stable life until his parents separated when he was 8-years-old.

Working multiple jobs to provide for the family, Rehan's Father struggled and was left with the burden of supporting Rehan and his brother, Reggie. Further, with the family struggling financially and several high school injuries, this crushed Rehan's dreams of becoming a pro athlete.

"There were times where we just didn't have electricity," Staton said. "We didn't have food in the fridge. Watching my Father work anywhere between one and three jobs, giving up his entire social life just to give my brother and I the basic needs —

I was hungry if that makes sense.

I was really hungry, but also at the same time, I just really wanted to succeed."

Aware that there was very little hope of being accepted while applying to colleges given his low SAT score, Rehan got rejected by all schools. It was at this point when he went to work at Bates Trucking & Trash Removal (where most of his colleagues were formerly incarcerated) and to his surprise, uplifted him, encouraging him to reapply and go back to school.

“The other sanitation workers were the only people in my life who uplifted me and told me I could be somebody,” Staton said.

A co-worker even helped Staton get in touch with a professor at Bowie State University, assisting him with successfully appealing to the school's rejection. However, he needed to keep his job to help the family financially with the bills as his brother was already in college.

With great determination and never giving up, Rehan has now been accepted and is heading off to Harvard Law School.

It may take you longer than others to get to where you wish to be, however, great things come to those who remain humble, make no excuses and persevere until they succeed!

A GoFundMe page has since been created to help to pay Staton's law school expenses has raised over $180,000.

"If you put in the effort and the work and you stay committed, things will fall into place," Staton says.

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