Maxwell Riseman is a senior and soon-to-be Take Five student, and a motivational creator on Instagram. Riseupriseman started two months ago when he first got the idea because of the likes he received on inspirational material he posted on his personal account’s Instagram story. 

“I decided to make one for fun — really poor quality — and I put it on my Instagram just to see how people would react. And surprisingly enough, there were literally 40 people who liked the story, people I’d never talked to,” Riseman said. 

Riseman’s following has grown over the two months, as well as his connections. He’s worked with @mikeburtons_positivemessages, @designsbyabarca, @jeffcviews, and @the_outdoor_therapist. The motivational community has welcomed Riseman, with @theoutdoortherapist taking on a mentor role for him.

“It’s just been cool, just reaching out to all these different people on Instagram. I also connected with this guy named Mike Burton’s positive messages, he does these cool things,” Riseman said. Riseman has also connected with “big-time influencers”: @the_outdoor_therapist, whose content centers on marriage and family therapy and who has 200,000 Instagram followers, has been mentoring him and helping him gain his footing throughout the process of developing and growing his account.

Riseman is making connections with nonprofit organizations in Rochester and around the nation as his account grows, including Stop GCT, an organization centered around ovarian cancer research. Riseman’s horizon is filled with opportunities for collaborations with other creators, working with nonprofits, and even sponsorships.

His focus now is to spread his mission and values. His account is centered around “spreading positivity and promoting a positive community for people.” Riseman does this through vulnerable and motivational videos; fun and positive interviews featuring students on campus; and sometimes even with a funny minions video. 

“Now that the accounts are growing,” Riseman said, “a lot of people are willing to be in the videos more and I don’t know, it’s just cool talking to people when, when I get to talk to them, everybody’s always laughing and it’s always a good time filming.”

Riseman’s ideas for videos spontaneously come to him, sometimes at inopportune times –– like the middle of the night. 

“It gets pretty addicting. I just start getting obsessed with making these; once you have your little project, you just get obsessed and I just can’t stop working on this stuff. The other day, it was 12 a.m., that’s a good idea. I gotta make that and I’m like, no, I gotta, it’s time to go to sleep, man. We can’t be working on this right now. It’s usually just on the spot. I’ll see what students maybe want to hear right now.”

As Riseman spreads positivity, he has been getting positive feedback from family and friends as well as his followers. In a feedback survey he put out on his account, he received 30 responses, the majority of which encouraged him to continue with what he’s been doing.

The responses were heartwarming to Riseman. “I try to come off as sincere as possible in these videos… There’s just a lot of negativity on campus right now, obviously, there’s a lot of events going on in the world that make people, I totally understand. So, just one thing I’m trying to do is control what I can control and just try to make people a bit happier and enjoy their life a bit more.”

You can follow Maxwell Riseman on Instagram @riseupriseman.

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