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Highly motivated and achievement oriented, finalists in the Tomorrow25 international leadership competition for high school juniors are poised to have their pick of colleges. Christopher Carroll, Jewel Cash, Amy Dombrowski and Joshua Fischler chose Bentley.

“I was applying to an environment, not just a school,” says Cash, a freshman from the 2006 pool of Tomorrow25 winners. “The professors, students, and staff all seem genuinely happy to be here.”

The college’s Summer Transition Education Program (STEP) figured into Cash’s decision as well. “The STEP students and [director] Claudette Blot gave me a family at Bentley, and helped me see that I could excel here.”

Dombrowski, too, first learned of Bentley through the Tomorrow25 program. “I was incredibly impressed by the technology, and by the high percentage of new graduates who find work in their chosen fields,” she says of arriving on campus in 2005 to accept the award.

At Boston Latin Academy, Cash was a student representative to the Boston School Committee and a member of the Boston Student Advisory Council. She also served as an informal teacher to neighborhood kids, coaching them in dance and academics.

Since enrolling at Bentley, she has redoubled her efforts to mentor young girls of color, through the Mary McLeod Bethune Institute at Northeastern University. The institute offers weekend classes and activities free of charge to girls from Boston. Cash herself attended regularly from age 7.

“It’s a sisterhood,” she says. “I found mentors there, and opportunities. Now I want to serve as a role model for girls.”

The workshops that she teaches run the gamut from career development to community activism to money management to public speaking. Cash hopes to bring fellow Bentley students to the institute as volunteers.

Dombrowski earned Tomorrow25 recognition in part for contributions to the Amnesty International chapter at Mercyhurst Preparatory School in Pennsylvania. She also was vice president of the school’s Holocaust Project and Shoah Project.

College has found her diving into a new set of issues, for example, raising funds for cancer research and supporting victims of sexual assault. The work involves serving on the executive boards of the Women’s Center and Colleges Against Cancer.

“My grandmothers and my family taught me the power of the individual to rise above obstacles,” says the Bentley sophomore. “They showed me that it’s worth fighting for causes.”