Ben HaywardJuly 8th

In inspirational news of the day, a student who was working as a bin man to support his family has now won himself a place at Harvard Law School.

Even though he dreamed of going to college, 24-year-old Rehan Staton, from Bowie in Maryland, took the job as a refuse worker - waking up at 4am to go to work every day - to help out his dad and brother. 

Speaking to CNN, Rehan said life had been 'pretty normal' until his parents split and his mum left the country when he was around eight years old.

With the family suffering financially as Rehan's dad worked two or three jobs at the same time, while also trying to raise two children alone, their previous 'solidly middle class upbringing' with years at private school, was flipped on its head.

When Rehan reached 7th grade, his school work and grades were really suffering. He told CNN: "I wasn't eating meals every day and my dad was working all the time. Sometimes there'd be no electricity at home.”

At first, Rehan wanted to become a professional boxer, but sadly his dreams were cut short when he suffered a double shoulder injury in the 12th grade. 

With his hopes of going pro after graduation dashed, Rehan applied to a number of colleges but was rejected from them all and instead started work at the Bates Trucking & Trash Removal company to help support his family.

He remembers: "It was the first time in my life people were lifting me up for the sake of lifting me up and not because I was good at sports.”

Noticing what a promising and intelligent young man they were working alongside, Rehan’s co-workers, a lot of whom who were ex-convicts,  took it upon themselves to try and help, and went to see the company’s bosses. 

After hearing their request, the son of the owner, Brent Bates, took Rehan under his wing, taking him to meet a professor at the Bowie State University.

This professor was so impressed by him that he appealed the admissions board on his behalf, and Rehan began undergrad later that year, earning a 4.0 GPA (‘perfect’).

By the time he had completed his second year, Rehan knew he wanted to go to law school and transferred to the University of Maryland, graduating in 2018.

Over the next year Rehan worked in political consulting while studying for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and was accepted to law schools at Harvard, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California, and Pepperdine, choosing to go to Harvard. 

"When I look back at my experiences, I like to think that I made the best of the worst situation,” says Rehan. “Each tragedy I faced forced me out of my comfort zone, but I was fortunate enough to have a support system to help me thrive in those predicaments."

What a story!

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