Senior Profiles: Zoe Risch

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Senior Profiles: Zoe Risch

Charlotte Heinrich, features writer

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In a purple bedroom, pop music plays while one sister teachs makeup to the other. Giggles fill the room as Mary Kay samples are smeared on. Like many pre-teens, older sister Zoe, had recently become enveloped in the world of makeup. It was a way for her to find her identity amongst a lot of changes, like her family’s move from California to Missouri. Six years ago, Zoe Risch, senior, started over in Kirkwood with no friends except her two younger sisters. Six years ago, she began making makeup tutorials on Youtube for fun to take up time. Today, her Youtube channel, Zoe Kathryn, has thousands of subscribers with videos that hit upwards of 2 million views.

“I remember the first video I ever filmed was on a little flip camera that my mom had gotten for free at work,” Zoe said. “I didn’t get a lot of engagement on my videos at first. I remember getting my first comment and it was so exciting because someone was actually watching my videos.”  

Zoe also described her initial insecurities that came with having a channel. She said that overtime she has become more confident with herself and her channel over the years, but occasionally faces judgement.

“At this point, nobody really brings [my Youtube channel] up,” Zoe said. “It’s a well known thing that I have a channel. [Sometimes], I will hear, ‘Oh, that’s the girl that makes Youtube videos.’ I don’t see how that can be taken as an insult. It’s what I do. It’s what I like.

“Some people play sports, some people have jobs, I make Youtube videos.”

Along with having 35,000 subscribers on Youtube, Zoe also uses her talents on the announcements, KHTV. This school year is her third year on the KHTV staff, and her first year as an editor.

“I definitely think that [having a Youtuber on KHTV] is beneficial because you come across students that are just in it to be in it,” Asha Zein, junior and member of KHTV, said. “Having someone such as Zoe who genuinely has a passion for filmmaking really helps inspire the rest of us and pushes us to actually do something.”

Ava Risch, freshman and Zoe’s younger sister, has also joined KHTV and created a Youtube channel of her own. Although she does not have the same passion for video production as her sister, Ava said Zoe has greatly inspired her.

“Everytime she would get a new hobby, she would get me into [the hobby] also,” Ava said. “I’d want to follow in her footsteps. Zoe has been a really good older sister to me. She taught me how to treat a younger sister.”

Zoe will leave behind Ava, and their youngest sister Mia, sixth grader, in the fall to study advertising at Florida State University (FSU). She is unsure if she wants to also pursue film at FSU, but knows she will continue her Youtube channel.

“[Youtube has] definitely made me not really care what other people think,” Zoe said. “It’s made me want to be someone that does what I love no matter what.”