The person who labored as a trash hauler in Maryland earlier than incomes worldwide information headlines by gaining admission into the celebrated Harvard Legislation Faculty has graduated.

Rehan Staton acquired his juris doctorate from Harvard after strolling throughout the stage in his cap and robe throughout a graduation ceremony on Thursday afternoon on the faculty’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

To cap off what’s prone to be among the many most uplifting tales of this spring’s US college commencement season, spectators handled Staton to a few of the loudest cheers heard throughout the 90-minute ceremony, together with one one that might clearly be heard shouting: “My boy – go, Rehan!”

A video of Rehan Staton receiving his Harvard legislation diploma on Thursday, 25 Might 2023.

As a profile printed just lately on Harvard’s web site recounted, Staton and his brother have been raised by their father, who labored as many as three jobs at a time as he tried to make ends meet. Even then, the household didn’t all the time have a dependable provide of meals or electrical energy.

Staton at one level dreamed of an expert profession in taekwondo or boxing, hoping that he might earn a fortune in both sport which might let him elevate his household out of poverty. However a severe damage to his shoulder lower these aspirations quick, and after highschool he received a job alongside his older brother, Reggie, working for a trash and recycling firm in Bladensburg, Maryland.

He has overtly mentioned how a few of his colleagues at that job had beforehand hung out in jail, they usually pleaded with him to do his very best to get a university training. Staton finally enrolled at Bowie State College, simply south of Baltimore, and later transferred to the College of Maryland.

Staton made exceptional sacrifices to set himself up for achievement, and so did his household. His brother dropped out of school after their father had a stroke to raised help their household financially.

Staton additionally labored, cleansing rubbish bins and accumulating trash for 3 hours within the mornings starting at 4am earlier than going to lessons. However, together with his brother’s assist, he might additionally dedicate a considerable quantity of his time to learning.

All of it paid off. Staton gained the excellence of serving as his undergraduate class’s graduation speaker at Maryland, and 5 of the 9 legislation faculties to which he utilized accepted him.

He selected to attend Harvard in 2020, and he turned a viral media sensation when the information reported on his household’s story.

Staton instructed Harvard’s web site that the information protection on him was uncomfortable at instances. “The media offered it as a contented story – one thing like, ‘Rubbish Man Applies to Harvard, Will get In,’” he mentioned. “However I did it to avoid wasting my household.”

Nonetheless, he acknowledges that there have been advantages to the eye.

Notably, when Tyler Perry heard Staton’s story, the famend film-maker stepped as much as cowl his tuition. Many legislation professors and attorneys additionally got here ahead to mentor Staton.

Along with pursuing his legislation diploma at Harvard, Staton raised greater than $70,000 in donations for the varsity’s help workers, together with meals servers, custodians and electricians. The hassle led him to discovered a motion which he has dubbed the Reciprocity Impact, which goals to help help workers at different universities in addition to companies.

Staton has been getting ready to start a job at a New York legislation agency which he lined up earlier than graduating alongside greater than 730 fellow Harvard Legislation Faculty college students. His accomplishments have been just lately honored throughout a break in motion at a Boston Celtics playoff basketball sport. However he mentioned to Harvard that he’s taking each probability he can to let everybody know his success was in no way a person effort.

Staton, 27, mentioned his boss on the Bladensburg trash firm would let him go away work to go to class after which come again. A cousin helped him examine for the legislation faculty admission take a look at. After which there’s his dad, his brother, and, in fact, Perry.

“Though I get credit score for working onerous, working was the simple half as a result of that I might management,” Staton mentioned. “However I simply occurred to be round individuals who cared sufficient about me.

“I received fortunate – however I made probably the most of my luck.”


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