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After Years of Walking at 4am to Haul Trash, He Graduated From Harvard Law School

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In 2020, GNN celebrated the hard work of 18-year-old Rehan Staton, who worked for years as a garbage man to support a charge into Harvard Law School via classes at the University of Maryland.

Now, after years of a different sort of hard work, Staton has graduated and has a job lined up in a New York law firm.

A long journey of sweat and tears, and literal blood preceded his walk out onto the stage in a cap and gown, one in which he gave as good as he got.

The boxing analogies come from the fact that Rehan Staton excelled in the martial arts including boxing, winning several competitions until a rotary cuff injury put an end to that permanently. With grades so bad he was rejected from every college he applied to, the part where he took a job as a sanitation worker wasn’t rock bottom as one might expect.

“It was the first time in my life a group of individuals that weren’t my father or my brother just came around me and… really just empowered me, uplifted me, told me I was intelligent,” he said in 2020.

The sanitation team helped him to enroll, successfully this time, at Bowie State University, after which his grades improved from terrible to 4.0—landing him a spot at Maryland State U. His father would suffer a stroke years later, requiring Rehan to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to haul trash for payment of the medical bills and ensure he still had time for his studies.

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