Farid Rasuli (he/him/his) finds deep strength and wisdom in his mother’s words. When he was young, she told him: “You cannot sit down when something is wrong. You must stand and say something.” To this day, these words influence the way Farid moves through the world, from the relationships he makes to the work he does and the changes he hopes to create.
Farid was born and raised in the Malistan district of Afghanistan, an area he describes as looking like Yakima. He and his family are Hazara, an ethnic group native to the central highlands of Afghanistan who have been persecuted by the government. Farid says, “I am considered Afghan in the eyes of the law, but if you look deeper, I am Hazara.” In 2014, at the age of 14, Farid fled Afghanistan on his own as an unaccompanied refugee minor living in various refugee camps in Indonesia before arriving in the United States.
Farid was resettled to the Pacific Northwest in 2017 and lived in a foster care group home in Kirkland. While he lived there, one of the counselors, Ms. Amber, recognized Farid’s penchant for making good trouble and encouraged him to put it to use at The Mockingbird Society, a local nonprofit dedicated to transforming the foster care system.
The organization partners with young people with lived experience, like Farid, to bring transformative child welfare policy proposals in Washington. He began as a senior network representative before gaining solid experience as a program and data coordinator. He developed and led training for professionals working with young people in foster care and honed his skills analyzing state and national policies to author critiques and essays for the organization’s nationwide newspaper.
One of his proudest accomplishments is the work he did toward passing a bill to phase out, by June of 2023, detention of young people for status offenses – actions, such as truancy, that are considered legitimate for adults, not for young people. For Farid, it is important that people recognize and honor the voices, ingenuity, and agency of young people.
He continues to engage in meaningful work as a young leader in his community. Most recently, Farid was nominated and selected as a Youth Transition Funders Group Fellow, which is one of the only funder networks in the country with young adults under 30 as full contributing members.
Farid received his associate degree in business from Bellevue College and will graduate this year from Seattle University with a bachelor’s degree in business economics. He says he’s especially looking forward to learning more about Inatai’s investment work. Farid remarks, “We can move the foundation’s mission forward with the investments themselves—by investing in things that make a real impact on real Washingtonians and beyond. There are profitable ways to do good.”
After accepting the offer as Inatai’s investment operations analyst, Farid was eager to connect with his family and share the news. He says his mother told him, “My worrying days are over. You’re good now.” After so much time apart and so many hard moments since leaving home, he says that was heartwarming to hear. “I felt a massive weight taken off my shoulders. I’ve come a long way. No place is like home, but home is also where you build it.”