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Man who used to collect garbage for work to support his family is now a Harvard Law School graduate

Rehan Staton, a former trash hauler is now a Harvard Law School graduate; thanks to his exceptional hard work and dedication.

He recently received his Juris doctorate during a 90-minute commencement ceremony at Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was cheered by a huge crowd.

Staton went through a lot of hurdles and sacrifices before he got to where he is now. Staton grew up with his brother and they were raised by their father, who worked multiple jobs to provide for their little family. According to Staton, they had a limited supply of food and electricity back then.

Rehan Staton was a sanitary worker before he became a Harvard Law School graduate.

Courtesy of Rehan Staton

“There were holes in the ceilings. There was black mold festering in the basement. There were a lot of areas in the house that didn’t have floors,” Staton said, describing their living situation before.

At a young age, he dreamed of becoming a professional boxer or taekwondo player, in hopes of getting his family out of poverty through sports money. Sadly, he suffered from a shoulder injury which made him give up on his dreams too early.

Before he became a Harvard Law School graduate, Regan Staton's dream was to be a boxer or a Taekwondo player.

Courtesy of Rehan Staton

After high school, he decided to look for a job to help his father. Both Staton and his brother had to stop their education when their father had a stroke.

They eventually found a job as a sanitary worker for Bates Trucking and Trash Removal in Bladensburg, Maryland. This job may not be ideal, but it helped him and his family make ends meet.

Refurbishing the dumpsters did not only help Staton get by but it also opened his eyes and realized what he wanted for his future. Some of his co-workers with previous prison history told him not to be like them and encouraged him to continue his education.

Rehan Staton raises money to help him become a Harvard Law School graduate.

Courtesy of Rehan Staton

Inspired by his co-workers’ words, he enrolled at Bowie State University and later transferred to the University of Maryland. Staton’s hard work paid off and he finished his undergraduate studies in 2018. In less than a year, he passed his LSAT and applied to Harvard Law School.

Staton knew how difficult it was to get accepted in such a prominent school but he still tried his very best. To his surprise, he got accepted and even went viral for his Harvard acceptance video.

Actor Tyler Perry offered to pay for his schooling while people raised money to help send him to the prestigious university. They were able to raise over $200,000 through GoFundMe.

“Although I get credit for working hard, working hard was the easy part,” said the Harvard Law School graduate.

Harvard Law School graduate Rehan Staton with his supportive brother.

Courtesy of Rehan Staton

“But I just happened to be around people who cared enough about me. I worked for a trash company, where my co-workers told me that I should go to college instead. I had a boss who let me leave work, go to school, and come back. I had a cousin who helped me study for the LSAT.”

Staton was grateful for all the support and generosity he received and he wanted to pay it forward. He is now doing it through an organization he founded called The Reciprocity Effect, which goal is to create a more holistic community at Harvard while fixing the gap between the staff and students. He plans to move to New York City and find a job at a law firm.

Regan Staton is now a Harvard Law School graduate.

Courtesy of Rehan Staton

Though he is now a Harvard Law School graduate, he still hasn’t forgotten his childhood dream. He wants to pursue his love for sports and eventually lead a professional sports team.

“I didn’t want to change after going to Law School,” Staton said. “The allure is huge. I went to work in fancy places. I made cool connections and friendships. But I don’t want to forget who I am.”

Watch this video and be inspired by Rehan Staton’s amazing journey to success:

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