Rock Hill, SC – Ian Attmore has been in love with computers since he was young, and it is easy to understand why.
A senior at Legion Collegiate Academy, Ian’s father, Mark, works for Microsoft, so he came by the computer bug naturally. His dream is to follow his father into a computer programming career, and he has his sights set on going to one of the very best colleges to help achieve that dream.
“I really want to go to a prestigious university, like maybe an Ivy League school, but I haven’t ruled out staying closer to home,” Attmore said. “I am interested in computer science, that is what I have wanted to do since I was 12. I love programming; it is fun for me. The first college course I ever took was a computer science class.”
There are some of the top colleges in the country at the top of his list of favorites, but he doesn’t want to limit his options by narrowing the list too early. Earning admission to many of the schools on his list is highly competitive, but Attmore took another step in the right direction last week when he received word that he is a finalist for a National Merit Scholarship.
He is the first student in the short history of Legion Collegiate Academy to become a finalist for the scholarship program. Likely, Attmore will have schools like Harvard and MIT jockeying to attract his interest in the coming weeks because one of the things universities use as a point of pride is the number of National Merit Scholars they attract.
“I found out a couple of months ago that I was a semi-finalist, and I really wasn’t sure what it was about,” Attmore said of the National Merit Scholarship program. “Now, I am excited about it. To be the first from my school is awesome. Now that I am a finalist, hopefully I will receive it. Getting that kind of money for school would be great.”
Of the roughly 15,000 high school seniors who advance to the final round of the program, approximately half receive a scholarship award. Last year the program awarded a total of $39 million in scholarship money to a total of 8,500 students. The program has 180 corporate sponsors who assist with funding the scholarships while colleges and universities across the nation also contribute.
With a distinguished academic resume – Attmore carries a 5.158 weighted GPA – plus a wide range of extra-curricular activities, his accomplishments paint the picture of the kind of well-rounded student Legion is attracting.
Attmore originally learned about Legion Collegiate when his younger brother, Aidan, was looking for a high school home. He hadn’t thought about going to a physical school, because he had been homeschooled by his mother Jennifer, but when he learned all that Legion had to offer that changed.
“The main reason I came to Legion was so that I could get into college classes and continue to play soccer,” Attmore said. “I think I will have about 70 college credits when I finish high school. Being able to continue taking college classes was a huge reason why I decided to come to Legion.
“Coming here allows me to take those college classes for free and has really sped up my development. I feel like I have learned so much more because of the environment and the dual enrollment at Legion.”
A starter on defense for the Legion soccer team the last two years, Attmore earned the Lancers Award in 2021. That award is presented annually to the player who puts team first, plays for the badge with a team mentality and pride for his school and is the hardest working player. His soccer accomplishments also include being a starter on his club soccer team for three years.
Attmore said to succeed as a student and an athlete, time management skills are crucial.
“You have to be good at time management,” Attmore stressed. “I have been playing soccer and doing school at a very high level for a long time. I guess you just get used to it.”
But being a high achiever in two things hasn’t been enough. Attmore is a state championship level archer – having won the state S3DA Indoor title in 2020 and the USA Archery state indoor title in 2021 – in addition to being a black belt in Taekwondo, a classical pianist and a self-taught drummer is a rock-and-roll band.
“Soccer and studying take up most of my time but I am also interested in archery, and I play the drums,” Attmore said. “I have a friend who plays guitar and we get together to jam some times. I love Metallica and bands like that. I have also started to pick up chess a little bit.”
Before enrolling at Legion, Attmore had been taking his high school classes mostly online. Getting a chance to interact with other students and the faculty at Legion helped make him a more well-rounded student.
“Legion has been even better than I expected,” Attmore said. “I didn’t realize how much better it is to take classes in person because I had been taking all my college classes online. Being able to connect with the teachers and my peers has been huge and I have really enjoyed that. I have found friends that I spend a lot of time with.
Academically, in addition to his focus on computer classes, Attmore was a 2022 Gold Medalist on the National Spanish Exam, ranking at or above the 95th percentile. He has assisted in the chemistry lab when time allows and he serves as a mentor in the AIM program, helping to mentor freshmen at Legion Collegiate Academy.
While he looks ahead toward college next year, Attmore continues to work out and practice with the Legion soccer team. His hope is that, wherever he winds up in the fall, he will get a chance to walk-on to the men’s soccer team.
“I still come to Legion to practice and lift, and I am taking an online course,” Attmore said. “I have met a lot of my fellow Legion students through my college classes, so that has improved my high school experience event more.
This has just been a super experience here at Legion and I am so glad I decided to come here. It has been an amazing experience.”
About Legion Collegiate Academy: Legion Collegiate Academy (LCA), located in Rock Hill, S.C., serves high school students in a safe, small and family-centered setting. Our students seek the opportunity and challenge of rigorous curriculum, high academic standards and elite athletics while also earning up to two years of college credit. LCA serves students in grades 9-12 using an honors curriculum in 9th and 10 grades with a dual enrollment curriculum in 11th and 12th grades
Learn more about LCA by visiting our website at LegionCollegiateAcademy.org and by following us on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For video content, visit our YouTube channel.