Maryland man accepted into Harvard Law after working as sanitation worker

Rehan Staton wants to become a sports agent

(Credit: Rehan Staton/screenshot)

This week a former sanitation worker in Maryland is celebrating his acceptance into Harvard Law School.

According to The Washington Post, despite having a fairly normal childhood, in recent years Rehan Staton went through a series of personal adversities that not only caused a strain on his family life but also disrupted his education. 

READ MORE: Shake Shack employees cleared after being accused of ‘intentionally’ poisoning NYPD

“Things were pretty good until I was 8 years old. That’s when everything went south,” recalled Staton.

“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.” 

After numerous rotator-cuff injuries and a digestive illness took away his dreams of becoming a professional athlete, and getting rejected by every single college he applied for, the PG County nativehe decided to begin working at Bates Trucking & Trash Removal in Bladensburg, MD to help support himself and his family. 

Former sanitation worker's law school dreams come true.

Rehan Staton, a former sanitation worker, is making his Harvard Law School dreams come true. The 24-year-old told Vladimir Duthiers his support system inspired him to persevere through all the obstacles.

Posted by CBS News on Sunday, July 5, 2020

READ MORE: Video recorded at George Floyd’s alma mater says Black students should be ‘euthanized’

“The other sanitation workers were the only people in my life who uplifted me and told me I could be somebody,” Staton said of those days when he was waking up at 4a.m every day to transport trash and clean dumpsters.

Fortunately, Brent Bates, whose father owns the company, saw something special in Staton and put him in touch with a professor at Bowie State University, who assisted him in appealing his rejection from the school. 

Once he was given a change and allowed to attend the HBCU, Staton thrived, receiving a 4.0 GPA and going on to become president of a number of organizations.

Despite having to juggle his job, his studies and several personal adversities including his father’s stroke, he eventually graduated took a job at the Robert Bobb Group, a national consulting firm. After taking the LSAT and applying to law school, this past March he received his acceptance letter to Harvard.

Staton was also accepted to Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Pepperdine Law, and the University of Southern California. When he attends Harvard in the fall he plans to major in sports law to pursue his dreams of becoming a sports agent. 

“For Rehan, the sky is truly the limit. He is unbreakable,” said Patrick Bobb, Chief Operating Officer at the Robert Bobb Group. “Whatever Rehan chooses to do in his legal career and beyond, he will definitely achieve.” 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Share