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24-Year-Old Student Goes From A Garbage Collector to Harvard Law School Student



  • Rehan Staton is an excellent student who worked as a sanitation worker to make ends meet
  • A GoFundMe page was set up for Staton for his school tuition at the prestigious Harvard Law School
  • Staton got accepted to 5 other law schools and waitlisted on 4 law schools.

A life of hardships and trials did not deem a 24-year old’s dream to enter law school. Meet Rehan Staton, a garbage collector who is set to be a lawyer and be a proud product of the prestigious Harvard Law School.

Life was not easy for Staton. His mother left him, his dad, and his older brother and went back to Sri Lanka.  His father juggled 3 jobs to make ends meet and the family often had no food and electricity.

People | Rehan Staton and his father

Despite the difficulties, Staton still excelled in high school and trained to become a professional boxer.  But a double shoulder injury made him stop training in his senior year and changed his direction. He ended up as a sanitation worker at Bates Trucking and Trash removal.

A company higher-up learned of Staton’s story, introduced him to a professor at Bowie State University, and later convinced the university’s admissions board to let him enroll.  But because his dream was to go to law school, he transferred to the University of Maryland.

Another trial awaited him as his father had a stroke.  This made Staton go back to Bates Trucking & Trash Removal to be able to continue schooling and to support his family.

People | Rehan Staton

Staton said, “We all took losses and made sacrifices to take care of each other.”

While at the University of Maryland, Staton woke up early to pick-up trash, making him go to school without taking a shower.  He sat at the back to avoid his classmates.  Despite all these, he was hard-working and kept his eye on the prize.

When asked about his journey to the prestigious Harvard Law School, he told CBS news that, “It was the people that were on the bottom of the hierarchy who really lifted me up. If this were just about me and just fighting for myself, I definitely would have quit.”

In 2018, Staton graduated from university and worked as an analyst at a consulting firm in Washington D.C.

Still intent to pursue his dream, he applied for law school and got accepted to the Universities of Pennsylvania, Southern California, Columbia, and Pepperdine.  He was on the waiting lists of the University of California, Berkely; UCLA; Georgetown University, and New York University. 

ABC News | Rehan Staton (left)

Because he has set his mind, he chose Harvard Law School and will begin this fall. A GoFundMe has already reached more than $46,000 for his tuition.

When Staton looks back at his experiences, he likes to think that he made the best of the worst situation.  “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.”

Source: People