Although I’m not his mother, I’m as proud as any parent could be because dear, kind, and amazing Rehan has been accepted to Harvard Law School!
I'm an executive communications coach based in Washington, DC. Rehan reached out to me last year wanting to hire a professional coach to help him "...become a better speaker so I can encourage others like me to never give up on your goals, no matter how hard it gets." After reading his life story in the University of Maryland campus news, and talking with him, I told him I would be happy to coach him but I would not charge him. I only asked that he pay it forward. He graciously agreed. From the day we met, we connected. I felt incredibly strong empathy and admiration from him. A bond was formed and I told him I'd always be there for him if he needed me for anything. He now calls me "Ma."
Rehan will start classes this fall. Because of the pandemic, his first semester will be virtual. But, in 2021 he will move to Cambridge to continue his studies. While a grant from Harvard will pay most of the tuition for the first year, it doesn’t cover books and supplies, room and board, mandatory health fees, and personal expenses. And, unfortunately, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is not inexpensive. Here's what Harvard Law School sent him about the cost of attendance per year: Tuition: $65,875; Books and Supplies: $1400; Room, board, personal expenses: $26,472; Mandatory Student health fee: $1206; Student related travel: $1650. TOTAL: $96,603. He has a grant for $49,300 and a HLS subsidized loan(5%) for $10,000. That leaves $37,303 for just the basics for the first year.
Plus, Rehan's father is very ill and Rehan is his primary caregiver now. When he leaves for Cambridge, there will be insufficient money to help support his dad's healthcare needs.
I’m asking for donations to ensure Rehan can go to Harvard and afford to live in a safe and warm place, without having to give up meals to afford books and worrying about other essential expenses. I also don't want him to be worried about his dad's welfare. Any donations beyond covering Rehan's university expenses will go toward helping cover caregiving costs for his father.
Donations will be put in a separate bank account in Rehan's name to draw from as needed. I, along with others who have guided him along the way, will be his advisors.
Yes, Rehan is smart, but what makes his achievement even more admirable is his courageous journey to this moment. His has been a path filled with poverty, roadblocks, setbacks, sacrifices, illnesses, and heartbreak.
Take a short walk in Rehan’s shoes
Imagine your name is Rehan Staton. You grew up extremely poor. Your mother abandoned you when you were eight. Your father raised you and your brother alone. Love was never in short supply, but money always was. Often there was little to no food in the refrigerator. Many times, utilities were turned off, so you had to wear your coat inside, even when you slept. If you got sick, there was no money for health care.
Then, your dad had a stroke. So, you and your brother got jobs as sanitation workers, to support the family. During this time, you had managed to attend the University of Maryland. But, working two shifts at the sanitation company and going to school depleted your health, and you got seriously sick for nine months. Your brother then dropped out of school to work full-time so you could get well and continue school. Because of the strong love and support of your dad and brother, and cousin, you didn’t give up. And, finally, you graduated from the University of Maryland with a GPA of 3.84.
After graduation, you got a job with a DC consulting firm to help support your dad, who’s health has declined further. You then became his primary caregiver. But your dream wasn’t finished. A law degree was always the goal. Your greatest hope was to be successful so you could help the family who was always there encouraging you. Yes, acceptance to Harvard was a dream come true, but even with a grant, Harvard is incredibly expensive. And, the additional concern about ensuring your dad will be looked after in your absence is stressful beyond words.
One well-planted seed will produce many flowers
Higher education is the most powerful tool we have to erase poverty and change the world. A law degree from Harvard will open even bigger doors and lead to greater opportunities for every graduate from there. Rehan deserves that opportunity. His vision is to be in a position to help other disadvantaged kids stay focused on making a better life from themselves. I know in my heart Rehan will use his education to help and inspire others to reach higher and achieve more.
We will be grateful for any support
The cost of a college education prevents thousands of bright, ambitious, and amazing young people from poor homes the educational opportunities that could change their lives. The lack of money should not be the reason a brightly burning candle with so much potential should be snuffed out.
Your donation will help clear the rocks from the path this young man has had to stumble over his entire life. Your donation will help keep his candle burning.
Share Rehan’s story with other kind hearts
If you know others who would be inspired to help Rehan, please copy the link to this page and share it on your Facebook timeline or Instagram.
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- Created 1 July 2020
- Education & Learning
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