SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) Heena Patel prepares traditional Indian dishes in the kitchen of her recently opened restaurant besharam. The trendy San Francisco Dogpatch Restaurant offers both traditional dishes and a few surprises.
"We have a salad of broccoli and quinoa, cheese paratha," Patel explained. "Chicken Makhani. Everything is delicious. "
The restaurant industry is a difficult puzzle to solve in the city of the bay and elsewhere. Patel's business may never have been possible without Nikita Maheshwari. Berkeley graduate, 29, is the founder and president of the company. Move up, a non-profit Bay Area aimed at helping underserved women enter the labor market.
"We have victims of domestic violence," Maheshwari said. "We have widows, we have single mothers. Many women do everything to keep their families together. "
In just five years, this fully female-led organization has helped more than 1,000 women like Patel find jobs and start their own businesses. For Maheshwari, it's also about paying him ahead.
"I immigrated to America at the age of 7," Maheshwari said. "And I have the impression that in the last 22 years of my life, I have been lucky to have such incredible opportunities here. And it is my responsibility to render. "
Move Up clients are referred by other non-profit organizations. They meet with volunteers at individual workshops and counseling sessions, covering topics such as resumes, business plans and social media marketing.
"I was very excited and talked to my friends," Oh, I have a website right now, "Marandi explained. "The workshop that they have organized allows you to continue doing what you want, gives you more hope and encourages you to do it."
Maheshwari says that she also enjoys social interactions, but seeing Move Up clients find a job is her greatest goal and joy.
"When they get a job, it's exactly the mission statement that's served," Maheshwari said. "It's an incredible feeling, is not it?"
So, to help underserved women find jobs, this week's Jefferson Prize in the Bay Area goes to Nikita Maheshwari.