CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Harvard Law student Rehan Staton is gaining national recognition for the second time, and this time, it’s for giving back.
“I’m just simply giving back to those who give to me every single day,” Staton said.
The 27-year-old from Maryland collected garbage for years to afford his undergraduate degree. He says the sanitation company he was working for at the time helped him get back to school, and he was accepted into Harvard Law School.
His success story went viral, and now he’s making a difference for sanitation workers at the university. Staton says it all started when he said hello to a custodian in the hallway.
“She said me? I said yes you, how are you doing? And she said I’m sorry, I’m sorry, students don’t talk to me. Students would rather look at the wall then talk to me,” he said. “I was kind of taken back, and I said, ‘oh I’m sorry, I’m going to talk to you though.'”
Staton began developing relationships with the school support staff and started a nonprofit called The Reciprocity Effect to help give back to them.
“My simple vision was you have a group of people who go above and beyond every day, doing the work that a lot of people just don’t want to do,” Staton said. “It’s just important to reciprocate that, and to make sure that you’re feeding the same people who are feeding you.”
So far, Staton has raised over $70,000 and says he’s not done yet.
“There’s still work to be done, but I’m just very grateful that I’m able to make the people around me proud.”
Staton is set to graduate next month and plans to be a corporate lawyer in New York. His goal is to one day become a sports agent.
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