20-year-old Isabelle Rizo was born in Germany and raised in America by Romanian parents. As a child she loved to draw and write.
“I realized I wanted to do something creative my whole life,” commented Rizo.
“I did not have something specific in mind but I realized combining my love of writing, digital media, education, and always learning was something I loved so I started doing it and voila. That’s what I do today.”
Rizo discovered that blogging combined all of these things after she read her friend Alana Lastufka’s book on YouTube stardom and Chris Guillebeau’s, “The Art of Non-Conformity.” She credits these two books to the successful path she’s on today.
Some of Rizo’s accomplishments include holding an international education pilot project in China for three months where she taught English to middle schoolers, she is currently working on a documentary on education (how to DIY your education without student loans), she has worked at WTTW, getting her TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certification), published three and now working on her fourth How to DIY Living magazine, and she is currently working on her Home Apothecary certification.
She is dedicated to inspiring young people around the world to take education into their own hands and follow their passions by helping others.
Rizo knew she wanted to start self-educating after receiving scholarships, taking out loans for a private college in Chicago, and realizing she was “signing her life away” knowing she was going to be in debt for a long time.
She then decided to attend COD to save money and spent a whole summer reading books about DIY and indie filmmaking.
“I’m very passionate about students not getting hung up on debt to get an education. There are so many resources and opportunities available; I just want to raise awareness.”
“I don’t think I could have the same resources and opportunities if it wasn’t for social media,” she said.
Paid writing and blogging jobs helped her build her resume and she was able to stay connected socially through Youtube and meet-up groups.
Rizo is working on her film degree at the college and is also working on some book projects. She is thinking of teaching abroad in France, or returning to China.
She recommends the following resources for students to look into a DIY education:
UnCollege.org, Blake Bole’s “Better than College”, and “Hacking Your Education” by Dale J. Stephens.
To learn more about Rizo and to get in contact with her, visit her inspiring blog at thebellavie.com where she also interviews entrepreneurs, authors, and writers to gain knowledge about their work ethics.