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.