After mother abandoned child, man goes on to work as a garbage collector and later get admitted to Harvard

Ingram Atkinson

This man embodies the idea of never giving up. Rehan Staton, a 15-year-old boy, was in a very bad place in his life in 2011. Since his mother left the family when he was eight, he has struggled in school with just one teacher, who has even referred to him as disabled because his father works three jobs. 

Rehan visited him infrequently, they frequently went without food at home, and he was terribly lonely because he had no friends. However, Rehan had one thing going for him despite feeling like a failure in every aspect of his life: he was a talented boxer. He persevered because he had a dream of becoming a professional one day.

But in the 10th grade he suffered a brutal injury ripping away those dreams. With his poor grades, Rehan was rejected from every college that he applied to, and he ended up working as a garbage collector. To his surprise, that's where he met his first friends. The other workers were always uplifting and pushed him to reapply to college. 

And even though Rehan still got up at 4:00 AM every single day for three years to collect garbage to pay for his dad's medical bills, he graduated from UMD with a 3.84 GPA. Since his own brother had dropped out of college to collect trash and pay for his tuition, Rehan knew he had to make the sacrifice worth it.  

Rehan graduated from UMD with a 3.84 GPA despite continuing to get up at 4:00 AM each day for three years to collect trash to pay for his father's medical expenses. Rehan knew he had to make the sacrifice worthwhile because his own brother had left college to pick up trash and pay his tuition. And he succeeded in 2020 after being admitted to Harvard Law School. Sign up to my free newsletter for more news updates and stories like this. 

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