Former health worker just graduated from Harvard, but hasn’t forgotten where he’s from


Cambridge, Massachusetts — Nobody went to Harvard Law School for shiny glass doors and spotless countertops. In fact, according to support staff here, with one notable exception, most students don’t even notice their efforts.

One day, a student started thanking them all.

“He said, ‘I just want to hug you and say hello,'” pantry manager Bonnie Larkin told CBS News.

“‘Thank you for your hard work,'” schoolgirl Maria Andino recalled the student.

“What’s this kid’s angle?” said skeptical food service cashier Brione Merchant. “But once I heard about his background, it all made sense then. I was

The student, Rehan Staton, graduated from Harvard Law School on Thursday. Before he came to Harvard Law School, he worked in hygiene.

“My job was to refurbish trash cans,” Staton told CBS News.

Staton worked for the Bates Trucking and Garbage Collection Company in Maryland.

“I’ve heard people literally point to me and my colleagues and say, ‘Don’t be like them,'” Staton recalled. “I think it’s about staying humble and reminding yourself that you’re not standing here all the time.”

Not only did Staten maintain his humility, he doubled it down. Earlier this year, he founded his nonprofit called Reciprocity Effect. Its mission is to ensure that Harvard Law School support staff are not only noticed but admired in the future.

The first-ever Harvard Law Support Staff Awards Dinner was held in April. In an Academy Award-like fashion, we paid tribute to the janitor, cafeteria employees, and all the others who make this place possible.

“Feeling appreciated is a big help, especially for people who don’t know it,” Staton said.

In the days to come, many alumni will stand high on the stage, at the vantage point, and finally meet all the people who got them there.

“I think that’s what makes Rehan’s behavior so special, because he didn’t even realize how unseen he was until he was seen,” Merchant said. “And all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Oh, this is pretty good!'”


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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