Arundel's National Merit Scholar Prepares for Harvard
AJ Protin was recently named a National Merit Scholar. He'll head to Cambridge, MA, for an Ivy League education in the fall.
After wearing the Wildcat green during his four years at Arundel High, AJ Protin is ready to don some crimson.
The senior from Crofton will be heading to Harvard College next fall, after a successful high school career that most recently included a National Merit Scholar award.
Protin is ranked third out of a graduating class of about 450, with a GPA of 4.6. His academic honors allowed him to consider all of the top colleges, including Princeton, Duke, Maryland and Virginia. But he fell in love with Harvard after a visit to the school’s campus in Cambridge, MA.
“The campus … how’d I like to describe it is majestic,” he said. “I’m very excited and can’t wait. I went up there for freshman weekend and met a lot of people, and the talent at every turn is unbelievable.”
Protin was born in Bowie and has lived in Crofton since sixth grade. But as the son of a Navy officer, he also spent time in Memphis, TN, and San Diego, CA. His father now works as a civilian attorney for the Navy at Fort Meade. Partin said he considered attending the U.S. Naval Academy like his father, but never felt pressured.
“I just wasn’t sure, and my father said that it’s not a place to go to if you’re on the fence,” he said.
Protin said he was drawn to Harvard because it appeared to offer some freedom to figure out on his own what he wanted to study. While he said he is leaning toward engineering, he said he has other interests and will probably enter the school undeclared.
“I want to go up and explore as many areas as I can,” he said.
This week, Protin learned that he was named a National Merit Scholar, which includes a $2,500 scholarship. Only about 8,000 students receive the honor, and Protin was one of just three from Anne Arundel County.
Protin is finishing up his final season as a member of Arundel’s track team, where he is a distance runner and team captain. He also ran cross-country in the fall and has served as a peer mediator and member of the math and environmental club.
“I really loved every minute of [Arundel],” he said. “High school is where I found my place.”
Do you know a graduating senior worthy of a profile? Let us know by emailing email@example.com.