A former Maryland sanitation worker is celebrating his acceptance into Harvard Law School,

Rehan Staton had a relatively normal life until a series of disruptive challenges impacted his family life and studies.

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

During high school, the uphill battle persisted for Staton with unsupportive teachers, a deteriorating home life and his dreams of becoming a professional athlete being taken away after suffering numerous rotator-cuff injuries and developing a digestive illness. After being rejected to every single college he applied for, he decided to begin working at Bates Trucking & Trash Removal in Bladensburg, MD to help support himself and his family.

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