Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.
"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."
These days, after her waitressing shift in a tony Washington, D.C., neighborhood, Nyankale picks up her 5-year-old son from school and her 4-year-old daughter from day care. Then it's an hourlong trek on the subway and bus to Nyankale's third-floor walk-up apartment. She and the children's father are separated, and he takes the kids on weekends.
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