For Hudson Primus II, graduating this spring from Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington – where he has been a star athlete and accomplished student – and preparing to attend the University of Pittsburgh “is a bittersweet experience,” as he leaves the community at Carroll and faces the excitement of the next step in his life.

“It’s really a leap of faith,” he said.

And faith has always been central to the life of Primus, who played quarterback on Carroll’s football team and ran track, competing twice in the Penn Relays, and was a Principal’s List student and National Honors Society member for his academic achievements.

“My parents made sure that I had been in church from the time I could walk. I was in church every Sunday,” said Primus, who is 18 and attends Metropolitan AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church in Washington, D.C. Primus is the son of Hudson and Celina Primus, and he has two older sisters in college.

So when he transferred into Archbishop Carroll High School, a Catholic school sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington, in his junior year of high school, “I already had a deep understanding of God,” he said.

Primus said he appreciated his Catholic education there. He joined Men of Valor, a club there mentored by Deacon Kenneth Lee, a Carroll religion teacher. Club members did community service, including collecting food for Carroll’s Thanksgiving Food Drive, making sandwiches for the poor, and picking up trash in the neighborhood – “anything to make the community a better place to live and Carroll a better place to be,” Primus said.

Those experiences, he said, taught him “to be thankful for what I’ve been blessed with in my life… and treat everyone with respect, like Jesus did.”

At Carroll, Primus attended the Kairos retreat as a junior and was a leader in the program as a senior, giving a witness talk on forgiveness. “Kairos was great,” he said. “I had never been on a retreat before. It’s basically putting yourself in God’s hands and letting the rest take care of itself.”

His faith, and his experiences at Carroll, helped him deal with injury setbacks on the football field, after he tore cartilage in his knee during a game as a junior and sprained his shoulder as a senior.

“Those were all disappointing. I just had to cling to my faith and trust in God,” Primus said. His Catholic education at Carroll, he said, underscored his belief that, “No matter how bad things may seem, God is always there.”

He appreciated the family atmosphere at Carroll. “It’s a small school. Everyone knows everyone,” he said. “The teachers are involved. They’re always available to help, and they won’t let you fall by the wayside.”

Primus, Carroll’s starting quarterback for his junior and senior years, hopes to be a walk-on player on the University of Pittsburgh’s football team. He enjoyed bonding with his Carroll teammates during practices and games. On Carroll’s track team, he competed in relays and sprints, and it was a thrill for him to join teammates in running in the prestigious Penn Relays for the past two years, competing against some of the nation’s best prep track athletes. “It was a good vibe for all three days,” he said.

At Pitt, Primus plans to major in legal studies and hopes to eventually go on to law school and have his own law practice. His father is an attorney. Explaining his career goals, Primus said, “Our society is based around law. I figured if I could have a better understanding of law, I can contribute more to society.”

Now as he is about to make his “leap of faith” to college, Primus said “Carroll really prepared me to go to college. It’s a college preparatory school, and they did just that. This has been a good foundation to build off of, to take into my future endeavors.”

And as for his personal goals for the future, Primus said, “I hope to make an impact on the world, to make it a better place.”