Yankees to kick off 15th edition of HOPE WEEK by honoring Rehan Staton and his organization, The Reciprocity Effect, on June 17

Yankees players and coaches will join Rehan Staton and workers from the waste collection and recycling firm Interstate Waste Service for a recognition ceremony and luncheon in the Legends Suite Club at Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees are proud to announce that the 15th edition of HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) will take place from Monday, June 17 through Friday, June 21, 2024.

For the first time in HOPE Week’s history, each of the five honorees have been chosen with a common theme in mind. With social media an ever-present part of modern life and with so much of the daily conversation devoted to its negative aspects, the Yankees will focus on how this powerful medium can be used for good.

This year’s initiative has been dedicated to spotlighting individuals who have embraced social media as a tool to uplift, inspire and celebrate what we can achieve when unifying around kindness and each other.


Education is the one thing no one can take away from you, and for 28-year-old former trash collector Rehan Staton, that sentiment couldn’t ring truer.

Last year, Staton graduated from Harvard Law School and accepted a job at the Paul, Weiss law firm in New York City. However, just a few years prior, he was a sanitation worker in his home state of Maryland, earning money to support himself in his single-parent household while trying to find a way into college. After being inspired by his colleagues at Bates Trucking and Trash Removal to give applying to college a second try, he was accepted to Bowie State University and eventually transferred to the University of Maryland. He graduated in 2018 as the undergraduate commencement speaker.

When things began to look up, another roadblock presented itself. In 2019, Rehan was bedridden with an unknown illness that left him unable to work, leaving his family financially insecure. Staton began studying for the LSAT while nursing himself back to health. With the help of his cousin, who’d come over every day to provide support, Staton’s perseverance paid off, as he was accepted to Harvard.

A video of Rehan’s reaction to his acceptance went viral and caught the attention of award-winning actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry, who generously paid for all of Staton’s law school tuition. Rehan received other financial assistance through a GoFundMe page that raised more than $200,000 from more than 3,000 donors.

“No one does it alone,” Staton said. “Just keep paying it forward.”

And Staton has certainly walked that walk. During his time at Harvard, Rehan formed a bond with the custodians, cafeteria employees and security workers at the university.

“I remember what it was like, working that type of job,” Staton said of his “aunts and uncles,” who don’t receive much recognition or acknowledgement. “When I see them, I see me. I view them as my equals, my peers.”

Rehan set out to do more for those workers than just befriending them. His mission to salute their efforts began with handing out Amazon gift cards and eventually blossomed into co-founding the non-profit organization The Reciprocity Effect, alongside Brent Bates, his former colleague and assistant operations manager at Bates Trucking and Trash Removal. Bates, who encouraged Staton to pursue his studies at the University of Maryland, donated $50,000 to help start the nonprofit.

“At every point in my life, I can say it was through the act of someone’s reciprocity that I was allowed to get to the next level,” explained Staton. “I’ve never seen something come full circle like this. The same sanitation company that changed my life, I came back to them, and they said, ‘We’ll be right there with you.’”

The Reciprocity Effect launched in April 2023, hosting a banquet to recognize the Harvard Law School support staff. Prior to that, Staton hosted a “thank you” note drive in November 2022, which galvanized more than 250 students to write letters of thanks to the staff. Rehan also helped to raise more than $70,000 with the assistance of his fellow students. The second annual banquet to honor Harvard Law School support staff was held at the university earlier this year on April 2.

As a part of HOPE Week 2024, the Yankees are honoring Rehan for not only the journey he took to find success, but also for all he’s doing to give back to those whose shoes he once was in.

“I didn’t want to change after going to Law School,” Staton said. “The allure is huge. I went to work in fancy places. I made cool connections and friendships. But I don’t want to forget who I am.”


(Please also visit hopeweek.com)

Introduced in 2009 and embarking on its 15th edition in 2024 (including a pause in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic), the Yankees’ HOPE Week initiative (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) is an ambitious, week-long, multi-faceted community outreach program undertaken by all players and employees within the organization. The initiative is rooted in the belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture.

At its core, HOPE Week is about people helping people. The one thing everybody has — no matter their background or financial situation — is time. By involving every one of our players and coaches, Manager Aaron Boone, General Manager Brian Cashman, our Minor League affiliates and front office staff during the celebration of HOPE Week, the Yankees send the message that everyone can give of themselves to make their community a better place.

Equally significant during HOPE Week is garnering publicity for highlighted causes and organizations. The greatest challenge facing many not-for-profits is generating interest, awareness and funding for their missions.

At the conclusion of every HOPE Week since 2010, the Yankees organization — along with each HOPE Week honoree — have been presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, given “in recognition and appreciation of commitment to strengthening the Nation and for making a difference through volunteer service.” The awards are bestowed by AmeriCorps, which empowers Americans from all backgrounds to answer the President’s Call to Service.

The Yankees encourage all their fans to get involved … Give HOPE!