A promising young man who works as a garbage collector has gotten admitted into the prestigious Harvard.
A 24-year-old man from a poor background who wakes up every morning at 4 a.m. for his garbage collector job to support his family has been accepted into Harvard Law School.
According to CNN
, Rehan Staton, 24, from Bowie, Maryland and a graduate of University of Maryland, will begin classes at the prestigious law school this fall after overcoming numerous obstacles in life that almost led to him giving up on his dreams.
Coming from a broken home has not affected his desire to make it in life. Even after he was abandoned by his mother, his father struggled to make ends meet to support him and his brother, and his hopes of becoming a professional boxer were cut short by a major injury, Staton took up a job at Bates Trucking & Trash Removal sanitation company as a garbage collector.
He said it was here that his ex-convict colleagues and the company owner's son Brent Bates saw his potential and helped him get the break he deserved.
'It was the first time in my life people were lifting me up for the sake of lifting me up and not because I was good at sports,' Staton told CNN.
'Throughout my entire life... all the people in my life who I was supposed to look up to were the ones who always downplayed me and made me feel bad about myself,' he said.
'I had to go to the 'bottom' of the social hierarchy - that's to say formerly incarcerated sanitation workers - in order to be uplifted.'
Staton said he had a pretty uneventful, stable 'solidly middle class upbringing' in Bowie until his mother walked out on his family and left the country when he was eight years old.
As a single parent, Staton told CNN his father struggled to financially support him and his brother Reggie, 27.
His dad was often out working two or even three jobs at a time to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table.
'I wasn't eating meals every day and my dad was working all the time,' he told CNN.
'Sometimes there'd be no electricity at home.'
The private school education Staton had enjoyed up to this point was no longer a reality and, by the 7th grade, Staton's grades suffered and one of his teachers recommended he be placed in special education.
The young boy turned to sports and nurtured a passion for athletics, martial arts and boxing.
Meanwhile, an aerospace engineer who his father met at a local community center offered to tutor him for free for the rest of the school year.
Staton's opportunities seemed to be turning around.
He trained to be a professional boxer and his academics improved to the extent of him getting on the Honor Roll list and the teacher who recommended he be placed in special education apologizing to his father.
But, just as things were looking up, Staton was dealt another blow when his dreams of taking the sport professional were dashed by a double shoulder injury in the 12th grade.
Then he said he was rejected from every college he applied to.
It was at this point that he got the job at Bates Trucking & Trash Removal - which ended up being the best opportunity in disguise.
Staton's colleagues, all of whom aside from the senior management were formerly incarcerated, encouraged and supported him to go to school.
Bates then introduced him to a professor at Bowie State University, who appealed the admissions board on his behalf and helped secure him a place.
His brother Reggie was a Bowie State sophomore at the time and chose to drop out to support the family so Staton could follow his dreams.
Staton then joined University of Maryland where he thrived, becoming president of organizations and earning a 4.0 GPA before graduating in 2018.
He then went on to work in political consulting with the Robert Bobb Group while studying for the LSAT, before earning a place at several law schools including Harvard, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California, and Pepperdine.
'When I look back at my experiences, I like to think that I made the best of the worst situation,' he told CNN.
'Each tragedy I faced forced me out of my comfort zone, but I was fortunate enough to have a support system to help me thrive in those predicaments.'
He especially credits his time working as a garbage collector, where he said he has never felt more supported in his life.
Staton wants to pass that support on to other young people by offering college counselling and tutoring to others facing adversity.