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!

Alondra Arevalo

Alondra Arevalo, High School Junior

Alondra is a junior at Colony High School in California. She is Junior Class President, on Varsity Cross Country and Track, and a part of her school's AVID program: all since her freshman year. She also has a passion for writing and politics and is planning on dual majoring in Journalism and Foreign Affairs to continue to pursue her dream of becoming a political analyst.

When she is not focused on her studies, she enjoys playing the guitar and piano, staying active, and spending time with her friends and family. She also loves to travel and is always planning her next adventure to introduce herself to new cultures world-wide.

Nayeli Morales

Nayeli Morales, High School Junior

Nayeli is a junior at Pioneer High school in California. She is president of a book club, a part of her school's AVID program, and takes rigorous AP/honors classes. Nayeli plans to major in English as well as Philosophy and hopes to become senior editor of a book publishing company.

In her free time, she enjoys writing and reading about philosophy as well as psychology, and exploring new cultures through music and film.

Ailani Ocasio

Ailani Ocasio, High School Senior

My name is Ailani. I’m Puerto Rican, and I’m a rising senior. I study in Southwestern Educational Society (SESO), located on the west side of the island (home to my favorite beaches). I’ve mostly written articles about environmental issues, but I’m looking forward to writing about the high school/college journey and sharing ideas that might be helpful for other students. Besides journalistic writing, I’m interested in marine and earth sciences, law, languages, and art. I also like to paddleboard, snorkel, learn new languages, and read.

I would like to give a little insight into my life as a student. I have been a Girl Scout for over 10 years and earned my Silver Award in 2017. Every summer, I volunteer for an organization called Para La Naturaleza as an auxiliary environmental leader. Last year, I took an AP Bio class, implemented the school’s environmental newsletter, and started learning French. I’m also part of an organization called Kinesis that prepares students to study outside of Puerto Rico. Through Kinesis, I’ve been able to earn various certifications and experiences. I’m grateful for all these opportunities as the knowledge I’ve gained has prepared me for current and future endeavors.

Aleena Islam

Aleena Islam, High School Senior

Aleena Islam is a senior at Panther Creek High School in North Carolina. Currently, she is involved in National Honor Society and her school’s DECA chapter, where she is a three-time State Finalist for her event and placed first in the 2020 state competition. In addition, Aleena has been an active volunteer at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the past three years, partaking in multiple teen volunteer positions both in the summer and during the school year.

Aleena loves traveling, exploring the world, and learning about new places, languages, 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.

Lydia Schultz

Lydia Schultz, High School Senior

My name is Lydia Schultz. I am a high school senior currently wrapped up in the college admissions chaos. Expressing myself through words has always been my main strength, and I have loved writing ever since I wrote my first “book” (drawings and everything) when I was 5. My favorite outlets for my writing hobby are poetry and creative writing, and a freelance career in creative writing would be a dream (although I am not exactly sure of what I want to pursue in college yet).

Aside from my academic success (I have a 4.45 weighted GPA), I have served around 150 community service hours during my high school career, I work as a children’s after-school care counselor after school (which I love!), and I am passionate about the environment, psychology, and Taylor Swift.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to write for Fastweb and I hope to help other peers with their post secondary journey. Most importantly, I want other students to remember that the college process may be daunting, but it is an equally exciting experience that not everyone is fortunate enough to go through. Enjoy everything!

Shreya Thalvayapati

Shreya Thalvayapati, High School Senior

Shreya is a senior at Hopkinton High School, aspiring to learn as much as humanly possible. As a competitive congressional debater, Shreya has immersed herself in legislative issues, and has promptly become a stand-out student in the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League, as well as at nationwide tournaments. As a state officer for Massachusetts Business Professionals of America, she takes pride in representing her classmates and loves the process of planning and hosting events at the state level.

When Shreya is not procrastinating on her homework, debating, or writing up business briefs, she is probably spending time with 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.

Jasmin Kaur

Jasmin Kaur, College Freshman

Jasmin Kaur is currently a freshman at the University of Dallas. She plans on double-majoring in history and comparative literature, with perhaps a concentration in international relations. Having led a state-wide book drive at her high school last year, she hopes to continue helping others, both with similar future projects and later entering a career where she can give back to those in her community. Jasmin enjoys spending time with family and going on long walks with her Shih Tzu, Saffy. You can find her reading a novel from any plethora of genres, with fantasy and historical fiction preferred, attempting to learn a new language, and writing whenever a creative thought piques her imagination.

Charles Schnell

Charles Schnell, College Freshman

Charles is a freshman at Emory University. He has not determined what he'll be majoring in as of yet. When he's not writing, he likes to study and discuss theology, swim, sing, read, listen to music, and explore the world to the fullest extent he can. His favorite activity is serving on the worship team at church. In addition to Fastweb, he will be contributing to The Log Off Movement's blog this school year as well. He looks forward to communicating with the Fastweb community as he zooms towards his degree.

Mary Bellm

Mary Bellm, College Junior

Mary Bellm is a college junior at Truman State University. She is currently working towards a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Design. She doesn't know exactly where life will take her yet, but she hopes it's somewhere in the publishing field! In her free time, Mary likes to laugh, 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.