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Student collected trash to pay for college gets accepted to Harvard Law School
He proves that nothing is impossible.
Cherie Gozon
09.07.21

Hard work and perseverance. When these two go together, nothing is impossible.

Pexels
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Pexels

Getting into Ivy League schools is no joke. There are a lot of expectations, requirements, and sometimes drawbacks if you’re shooting for them. It’s twice the pressure if you’re aiming for law school.

This did not intimidate Rehan Staton – a sanitation worker who made it to law school.

Facebook|Rehan Staton
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Facebook|Rehan Staton

Rehan’s journey was far from easy and comfortable. He went through so many hurdles just to get to where he is right now.

His childhood started fine, but it changed when their mother left when he was eight.

Facebook|Rehan Staton
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Facebook|Rehan Staton

Since then, he struggled. His dad was working multiple jobs just to put food on their table. Rehan rarely saw his father, and even with his efforts to provide for their basic needs, there were still days when they don’t have any food, electricity, and heating during the winter.

Rehan wasn’t also good in school.

Facebook|Rehan Staton
Source:
Facebook|Rehan Staton

One of his teachers told him to go to a special education class to cope. Luckily, he had a teacher who believed in him and tutored him for free. Plus, the one thing that kept him afloat was his love for boxing.

However, his rotator cuff injuries hindered him from pursuing boxing and a chance at a scholarship.

YouTube Screenshot|ABC News
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YouTube Screenshot|ABC News

Rehan decided to get a job so he can help his family. He worked at Bates Trucking & Trash Removal in Bladensburg, Maryland, collecting trash and cleaning dumpsters.

He eventually got accepted into the University of Maryland.

YouTube Screenshot|ABC News
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YouTube Screenshot|ABC News

But even then, he still had to work because his father had a stroke, and someone had to pay for the medical bills. He worked as early as four in the morning, headed to school, and then returned to work to finish his shift. It was a difficult life for Rehan, but he did not give up.

His co-workers at Bates were what pushed him to go and shoot for the stars.

YouTube Screenshot|ABC News
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YouTube Screenshot|ABC News

He excelled in Maryland, even gave the commencement speech during this graduation. But his peers believed he could do something more. They pushed Rehan to continue reaching for his goal.

The goal? Enter law school.

YouTube Screenshot|Rehan Staton
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Rehan Staton

Not an easy feat, don’t you think? Yet Rehan applied to different schools just to make his dreams come true. He sent applications to Georgetown University, New York University, University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, Pepperdine University, and Harvard.

His cousin, Dominic Willis, filmed Rehan’s acceptance reactions, and it was precious!

YouTube Screenshot|Rehan Staton
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Rehan Staton

He got waitlisted in the first four universities on that list, but he got accepted in the remaining five. Rehan was torn on which school he would choose. His dream was USC, but he can’t pass up on Harvard. Finally, he went for the decision that made more sense.

His final decision? Harvard Law School!

YouTube Screenshot|Rehan Staton
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Rehan Staton

According to Rehan, he owes this to the fantastic support he has – his family and his co-workers at Bates.

“If you have people that are going to uplift you and empower you, you got to give them your best shot. Because as much as you’re investing into yourself, you have others investing in you, too. And you got to make sure that investment is good, as long as it’s genuine,” Rehan told CBS News.

Such inspiring words from this young man. We know he’ll do great things in the future.

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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