Rehan Staton: A Sanitation Worker Turned Harvard Law School Student

by Duke Magazine

Rehan Staton, a 24-year-old former sanitation worker, has recently celebrated his acceptance to the prestigious Harvard School of Law. This accomplishment represents a huge milestone in his academic pursuit. He was posed with difficulties since high school, including unsupportive teachers and fractured family issues, and his dreams of becoming a professional athlete were dashed when he was rejected from every college he applied to during his senior year.

“Things were pretty good until I was 8 years old. That’s when everything went south,” said Staton, according to Because We Can. “My mom abandoned my dad, my brother, and I when she moved back to Sri Lanka. I was probably too young to notice some of the things that happened, but I know it was bad. Things just kept falling on us. My dad lost his job at one point and had to start working three jobs in order to provide for us. It got to the point where I barely got to see my father, and a lot of my childhood was very lonely.”

The PG county native of the United States worked long shifts as a sanitation worker for Bates Trucking & Trash Removal in Bladensburg, Maryland as he worked toward getting back into school. Brent Bates, the son of the company owner, got in touch with a professor at Bowie State University to help appeal his rejection from the HBCU. Staton not only gained acceptance, he excelled as a student there. From there, he went on to apply for law school.

That was how he got accepted into Harvard Law School, in addition to several other top-tier institutions such as Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Pepperdine Law.

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