Afghans of Puget Sound Alliance (APSA) serves newly-arrived Afghan refugees in the greater Seattle area. We provide job placement and career development services, health and wellness education, emergency services, and community building programs. As a refugee-led organization, we understand the challenges facing refugees in critical areas like housing, employment, healthcare, and education. Our goal is to help our families move beyond the basic survival mode and thrive in their new country.
The quick fall of Kabul in August 2021 resulted in a chaotic evacuation of our Afghan allies and their families and a refugee crisis in the U.S. unmatched since the Vietnam War. APSA’s leadership moved quickly to assist dozens of Afghan families, managing transportation logistics, finding and setting up homes, coordinating medical care and education, and organizing sponsorship circles. In early 2022, Ismail Khan and Mina Le formed APSA to advance their work for the Puget Sound Afghan community.
New Afghan families still have enormous needs in areas like housing, employment, ESL, and academic tutoring. Even before the fall of Kabul, many of our families had their lives, careers and schooling interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war. With your help, APSA can be the bridge connecting our region’s abundant resources and tremendous goodwill to families in great need.
APSA is a registered charitable nonprofit organization with the state of Washington, and is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization.
Meet the Team
Ismail has a long history of working with the Afghan American community in the greater Seattle area and across the US. He is a founding member of the Afghan American Cultural Association and sits on its Board of Directors. Ismail serves as the Pacific Northwest SIV Ambassador for No one Left Behind. He is also instrumental in bringing and supporting many Afghan refugee families to resettle in the Seattle area privately and via the Sponsor Circles Program.
Ismail’s volunteer work is rooted in his belief that refugees want a hand up, not a hand out. As a relative newcomer himself, he has worked numerous jobs before establishing a career as Operations Manager at VIP Hospitality in SeaTac Airport, which he left to fully focus on supporting Afghan refugees. Ismail wants to share his struggles with new refugees and help steer them towards viable career paths that earn good living wages, setting them up for success in their new life - which in turn strengthens communities.
On rare moments of free time, Ismail enjoys hiking to be in nature and traveling to far flung locales to experience different cultures.
Mina grew up seeing how her parents struggled to feed nine kids, and hopes to use her personal experience as a Vietnamese refugee to assist others experiencing the same challenges. Mina has worked in a variety of nonprofits for many years. Overseas, Mina lead anti-human trafficking efforts of Vietnamese nationals in Taiwan and worked in refugee camps in Asia running educational programs. Locally, she helped establish Rainier Valley Corps (now known as Rooted in Vibrant Communities) from 2014 to 2019. More recently, Mina volunteered through the Sponsor Circles' private sponsorship program to help resettle and support eight Afghan refugee families in the Seatle area.
Outside of volunteer work, Mina enjoys backpacking and trekking around the world. She can also be found digging in the dirt amongst random flower and vegetable gardens.
Imran is a Project Manager for the Port of Seattle with a degree in Business at the University of Washington. He also engages in volunteer work at the Afghan American Cultural Association. Imran looks toward APSA to bring organization & discipline to his volunteer efforts in helping newcomers settle in the Puget Sound area. Imran enjoys the great outdoors with a special passion for running, hiking, rafting, and camping.
Leema works as a Social Worker at the Iraqi Community Center, helping newly arrived refugees settle in the greater Seattle area by assisting them with housing, ESL classes, driving licenses, financial aid, and a myriad of other essential support services. Leema is looking forward to supporting even more Afghan refugees, especially women, through APSA’s programs. Outside of work, Leema spends free time with friends and family, and enjoys traveling.