Student Contributors

Fastweb's Student Contributors series allows you to gain insight on important student topics as your peers experience student life throughout the academic year.

Discover, learn from and relate to articles written by students of all ages which share first-hand encounters with vital student endeavors, such as scholarship search and college admissions processes, which matter most to you.

Get to know each of this year's student contributors below!

Mary Bellm

Mary Bellm, College Sophomore

Mary Bellm is a college sophomore at Truman State University, and she is currently working towards a bachelor's degree in English.

She hopes to be placed somewhere in the publishing field as an editor once she gets her degree, but is happy with wherever life will take her.

In her free time, Mary likes to laugh at funny things, hang out with her friends, and listen to music while studying. Mary wishes all students currently enrolled in college "Good Luck!" and hopes her articles help them through their studies.

Making the Most of Your Summer
Looking Back: Things to Consider When Choosing a College
New Semester Prep
Student Answers for Financial Aid Questions
The Importance of Hobbies
Whip Your Scholarship Search into Shape
A Student's Take on Internships

OSASERE EWANSIHA, College Freshman

Osasere Ewansiha is a college freshman at San Jacinto College south campus and is pursuing an associate's degree in communications. Upon completion, she will transfer to a four-year college/university to pursue a bachelor's in English. One day, she may even attempt to get her doctorate. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing. In the summer since she graduated high school, Osasere has dedicated time to her upcoming book blog which launched in August 2019.

Osasere is proud of her Nigerian heritage and wishes to become an icon for other little boys and girls. Osasere hopes to spread her love of reading and to become an author one day. She strives to inspire a new generation of readers and authors through her words, thoughts, and actions.

How to Have a Great First Day of Class
How Getting a Part-Time Job Pays Off
Figuring Out Financial Aid
Kayla Hankins

Kayla Hankins, High School Senior

Kayla Hankins is a senior at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California. She has enjoyed writing since she was a young girl and currently experiments with her writing through historical fiction, poetry, narrative pieces, and literary analysis. Her passion for writing has contributed to her newfound interests for screenwriting and film, in which she can bring her words and the words of others to life.

Throughout her academic career, Kayla has achieved straight A’s in numerous AP and honors courses. She is a member of the National Honors Society, was awarded the Williams College Book Award, and has been recognized by the North Coast Section as a Scholar Athlete during her freshman, sophomore, and junior years.

At school, she plays on the Women’s Varsity Basketball team, participates in the Black Student Union, and practices leadership through her involvement in the school’s Campus Ministry Team. Outside of school, she volunteers with organizations that aid the homeless in her area and works with children in the summer. In her free time, Kayla spends time with the most important people in her life: her family.

College Visits
How To: Start Your Scholarship Search
A Student Athlete’s Survival Guide to High School
SAT & ACT Test Prep
Aleena Islam

Aleena Islam, High School Junior

Aleena Islam is a junior at Panther Creek High School in North Carolina. Currently, she is an active member of her school’s DECA chapter, where she is a two-time State Finalist for her event and qualified to compete at the International Competition last year. Aleena is involved in National Honor Society, and she has been an active volunteer at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the past two years, where she partakes in many of the various teen volunteer positions, both in the summer and during the school year.

Aleena loves traveling and exploring the world and learning about new places and cultures. She is an avid photographer, interested particularly in nature and landscape photography. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, and baking for family and friends.

Senior Year Prep
How To Get Fantastic Recommendation Letters
Tips for A Successful Second Semester
Is A Part-Time Job Right for You?
Navigating Your Junior Year
Where to Find Internships & Why You Should Get One
Scholarships: The Basics
Cherish Recera

Cherish Recera, College Junior

Cherish is a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She's an English and Community Health dual degree student with a concentration in Health Planning & Administration and a minor in Informatics. She's aiming to be a Health Communications Specialist at the CDC.

Cherish values clear communication. She believes that meaningful writing and marketing can make an effective impact, and she wishes to continuously improve her skills in order to educate and assist the general public in the best way possible.

Apart from her studies, Cherish loves to explore the Champaign-Urbana area. She enjoys recommending restaurants to friends and discovering new places to unwind, whether they be three-story book shops or local bakeries.

She currently works at her university's startup incubator, marketing the entire Research Park with her team and assisting startups with marketing, research, website development, and more. When she isn't busy or out in town, Cherish bakes to destress and considers opening "Cherished Goods" from her apartment.

Treating an Internship as a Part-Time Job
A College Student’s Guide to New Year’s Resolutions
How "Procrasti-baking" Decreased My College Stress
How to Make the Most Out of No Student Loans
Charles Schnell

Charles Schnell, High School Senior

Charles is a senior at Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California. He often contributes to the blog The Bird on Fire. He has also seen success with his play scripts and likes playwriting and screenwriting. When he's not writing, he likes to swim, sing, act, play poker, and do basically anything that allows him to forget about the impending college decision dates—even if it means working on his homework. He is, however, eagerly anticipating the day he gets to move the tassel from right to left and finally leave school to go to more school.

Don’t Overthink the Process!
Academic Book Recommendations
Now What?
The Debilitating Process of Applying to College
How Many APs Should You Be Taking?
10 Factors to Consider in Your College Search
Are Campus Visits Worth It?
Shreya Thalvayapati

Shreya Thalvayapati, High School Junior

Shreya is a junior at Hopkinton High School, aspiring to learn as much as humanly possible. As a competitive congressional debater, Shreya has immersed herself in Massachusetts’ legislative issues, and has promptly become a stand-out student in the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League. She has competed in the final round of every state tournament she has attended, progressing to outrounds at the Princeton Invitational, the Glenbrooks Invitational, and the Speech and Debate National Tournament in Dallas.

When Shreya is not procrastinating on her homework, debating, or writing up business briefs, she is probably spending time with family and friends or contemplating the complexities of today’s society and her place in it. As a student contributor at FastWeb, Shreya hopes to share her student experiences and provide new perspectives for high school students - and she is beyond grateful to have the opportunity to do so.

The Benefits of Being Employed in High School
Standardized Exams: Everything You Need to Know
Navigating Internships
Making The Most of Holiday Break
Mastering Time
AP Courses: Everything You Need to Know
Caleb Wensloff

Caleb Wensloff, High School Senior

Caleb is a senior at Glacier High School Charter and a high school enrichment student at Reedley College. With a strong passion for politics, he hopes to one day major in political science and eventually enter Congress, aiming to represent the district he grew up in.

During his free time, Caleb also enjoys running, biking, and contributing to Apple News with his page, the Credible Comment, where the main goal is striving to present honest information to an audience seeking the truth.

It is with this in mind that Caleb hopes to be a reliable source of information for you and your college search, and is thrilled to be gaining some valuable experience with Fastweb.

How to Develop Great Extracurricular Activities
4 Steps to a Stress-Free College Search