Not even a pandemic is going to stop alumna, Josie Emch, from launching her own business. In March 2020, she did just that. She combined her two passions, education and entrepreneurship, and created Sitters Select. Sitters Select offers babysitting, tutoring, pet sitting and housesitting. These are not your traditional babysitters. These sitters are education majors that are ready to teach. Of her 45 employees, 75 percent of them are PVCC Education students or graduates. This supports the Sitters Select mission of “creating professional and financial opportunities for superior individuals in the field of education.” Josie recognized that current educators often need to supplement their teaching income and current students need practicum hours and resume building experience. She currently collaborates with the Education Departments at PVCC, ASU and GCU.
In these uncertain times, Josie has learned to be accommodating, utilize her critical thinking skills, keep an open mind and develop a plan of action that best suits the needs of the families they serve. She uses the Leadership Board model that she learned at PVCC to create a culture of support for all her sitters. They meet monthly for team building, brainstorming, discussing concerns about children’s behavior and homework, and for professional development.
“My business and success would not have been possible without the education and mentorship she received at PVCC.” Josie says, crediting Meggin Kirk, Carrie Barker, Caron Sada, Doug Berry, John Douglass and Ryan Cornell. Josie says she had a lot of anxiety upon coming to PVCC and guidance from Jim Rubin in the Counseling Department and Meggin’s encouragement and belief in her potential helped her tremendously.
Josie was a dedicated student, and also made the most of her time outside the classroom. On the Club Ed Leadership Team, she volunteered many hours, put leadership skills into practice and found her niche. She used her creativity and breathed new life into the campus food pantry, the Puma Pantry, by boosting the supplies through food drives and helping students and their families connect to the pantry.
Josie applied for the All-USA Academic Scholarship with Meggin’s support, and she was one of two students at PVCC to receive the scholarship in 2019, which enabled her to complete her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education & Interdisciplinary Studies degree tuition free at NAU Online just this summer. As a recipient, Josie traveled to Florida and was awarded the national Coca-Cola Gold Scholarship worth $65,000 in tuition waivers to further her education.
Josie is an advocate of community college, especially PVCC, because of its affordability, small class sizes and quality professors who truly care. She says tongue in cheek, yet seriously, “You can learn from Meggin Kirk, or you can incur $60,000 in student loans at a university.”
Josie’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for education will surely drive her to accomplish her goals. She hopes to franchise her company one day, create a dating website for a community of like-minded 20-30 year olds and appear on Shark Tank. You make PVCC proud, Josie!