Rehan Staton, an 18-year-old, has achieved an impressive feat—transitioning from a garbage man to a graduate of Harvard Law School. His journey, marked by hard work and dedication, began with rejection from all colleges due to poor grades, which led him to a job as a sanitation worker. This experience gave him a new perspective on life and introduced him to people who encouraged his pursuit of higher education.

Staton’s academic journey took off at Bowie State University where he saw a drastic improvement in his grades, earning him a place at Maryland State University. During this time, his father suffered a stroke which necessitated long working hours for Staton, starting his day at 4am hauling trash before attending school, in order to cover medical bills.

His inspiring story gained traction on social media which caught the attention of celebrity Tyler Perry who generously decided to pay for Staton’s tuition at Harvard Law School. In 2020, after years of perseverance and determination (and literal blood), Staton graduated with honors from the esteemed institution and secured a job at a law firm in New York.

In an effort to give back, Staton founded The Reciprocity Effect – a non-profit organization aimed at supporting staff affiliated with educational institutions such as janitors by recognizing their efforts through award ceremonies and providing financial assistance in times of personal tragedies. Three years post his graduation, the future looks promising for this resilient individual!