The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

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ISSUE 4: Aniyah Ritch: The “Model Student”

Ritch gets her first booking for Macy’s Back to School campaign
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Courtesy of Aniyah Ritch
Aniyah Ritch (’25) posing at her latest shoot.

She’s every school’s dream with a sunny disposition and an impressive reputation. While carrying the load of being an IB student, she juggles several band ensembles, being president of Robinson’s Best Buddies club, playing for the tennis team, student government and national honor society.  Junior Aniyah Ritch, the model student. And on top of that: she’s an actual model.

Ritch began her modeling journey as a freshman when scouted at her local Target.

“I was just walking around Target and a scout came up to me and asked us if I was interested in modeling. We checked the legitimacy of course and I ended up being signed that year,” Ritch said.
So far in her modeling career, she has spent time building her portfolio with several photo shoots with The Industry, her mother agency. The Industry is geared towards younger women, and helped her develop as a model before getting signed with a booking agency. Recently, she received her first paid booking to model for Macy’s Back to School campaign.

“I got the email like a week before because it’s a super-fast-paced industry. It was unexpected, but it was such a cool experience. The plan for my agency is to start with more commercial stuff and then work my way up to high fashion. I might try to stay with a commercial for now because it’s more sustainable,” Ritch said.

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If Ritch decides to take the high fashion route, she’s determined to use her platform for good. With her presidency of Best Buddies club, a club based on inclusivity for the intellectually and developmentally disabled, Ritch is a strong advocate for disability rights.

“I am very passionate about disability rights, and I feel like it’s a very prevalent issue and it’s international. Their community doesn’t have too much advocacy and I would love to take advantage of the privilege to be able to talk about things to empower marginalized communities,” Ritch said.

Including Best Buddies, Ritch has an incredibly busy schedule so flying out to New York to model isn’t always easy. Now that Ritch is officially seventeen, there’s more availability for a different market so she’s open to more bookings. Because she is still a minor, she needs an adult chaperone to accompany her to New York, so there is a lot of sacrifice when it comes to her taking new jobs. It’s also a lot to balance with her rigorous IB schedule.

“I missed a test on Tuesday when I went up to the shoot, and then the day after the shoot was the SAT. I came in at midnight on the flight the night before the SAT, and then I took the SAT the next day. So, it does kind of create a chaotic lifestyle when I do have to go away for these photoshoots, but I do think that from a career standpoint it is worth it, I just won’t be able to take every single booking,” Ritch said.

Despite the chaos, modeling is highly rewarding for Ritch, who describes one of her strengths as being personable.

“I love meeting new people and in New York, it’s kind of like a culmination of people from all across the world who have come to pursue some sort of career in mainstream culture. So, I think that it’s really interesting to be able to meet people from different cultures, different backgrounds, all with a collective dream of wanting to sort of pursue something in the modeling industry,” Ritch said.

As well as bonding with fellow models in New York, Ritch also forges connections with those who have similar aspirations.

“Aniyah’s modeling journey is very inspiring for me, and I think it’s important to boost each other up as we continue our journeys. I love watching her succeed and do amazing shoots,” fellow model Ally Linsky (’25) who’s signed to the same agency as Ritch.

Networking with fellow models is highly enlightening for her to discover who she is as a model.

“I would say that modeling has taught me the importance of looking beyond a person’s face because while it is a very superficial industry, it has given me the opportunity to meet people beyond just how they’re viewed,” Ritch said. “It gave me a new perspective on the world of modeling because like one of my greatest fears is being seen as a ‘dumb model,’ but I also work super hard at school, so there’s always more beyond the face.”

This story was originally published on RHS Today on May 3, 2024.