There was a time when 24-year-old Rehan Staton thought he would never go to college. He had faced numerous rejections in the past and was certain his future resided elsewhere. So, he was very reluctant to open the email he received from Harvard Law School. Little did he know that an acceptance letter was waiting for him. “It was probably the most surreal moment of my life,” he admits. “After going through everything that we did as a family, I just felt that we got into Harvard, and like, I just can’t even explain it. It was ‘we.”’ Although being accepted into Harvard Law offers Rehan a bright future, it wasn’t that long ago when circumstances weren’t so optimistic.

At 8 years old, Rehan’s world was flipped upside down when his mother abandoned his family and left the country. It was the beginning of an incredibly challenging time for him and his older brother Reggie Staton. Misfortune continued to pile higher as Rehan’s father lost his job and had to pick up three more jobs to keep the family afloat. But, despite his father’s best efforts, financial burdens steadily mounted and poverty crept in.

Rehan recounts on a public Facebook letter addressed to his brother Reggie: “I remember in 7th grade there were countless times our electricity would get cut off and we didn’t have much food to eat. Do you remember that was the year my teachers tried to place me in special education because of my bad grades? How was I supposed to concentrate under our circumstances?”

A young Reggie then brainstormed and implemented ways to keep Rehan fed, to help boost his grades. Rehan’s grades did improve and he became an honor student. But in time, his focus began to shift from academia towards sports. A supportive Reggie commenced training with his little brother right away to help him reach his sports goals, which he accomplished. However, additional misfortune awaited Rehan when he started facing physical ailments. His dreams of sports scholarships slowly started to deteriorate as rejection letters from colleges also started rolling in. Rehan Staton with various […]

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