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Trash leads UMD student to his treasure

Rehan Staton once dreamed of becoming a professional boxer, but injuries brought that dream to a halt for the Bowie native, until a trash truck led to the commencement stage.
Credit: Stephanie S. Cordle
Courtesy: Maryland Today

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The story of University Maryland's next student commencement speaker is a story of how trash lead to something he can treasure – a college education.

Rehan Staton, who was raised by a single father, once dreamed of becoming a professional boxer, but injuries brought that dream to a halt for the Bowie native, he tells Maryland Today.

After graduating from high school, Staton got a job at a trucking company hauling garbage and painting dumpsters.

His coworkers pushed him to pursue his college degree.

"If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have gone to college," he said.

Two years after enrolling in at Bowie State University in 2014, Staton transferred to UMD, succeeding with a 3.84 GPA.

Staton woke at 4 a.m. daily to work, head to class and then return to work to finish his shift. He didn’t quit, and that has earned him a history degree and the coveted spot as the student speaker at the UMD’s main commencement ceremony on Tuesday.

Read more of his story here.