Meet Our Team
Mr. Jacob Bell
Jacob Aaron Bell comes from a large family of artists, community organizers and activists. In 2005 Jacob moved to the Midwest from California with his mixed race parents and 4 biracial siblings. He attended the University of Minnesota Duluth, studying The Fine Arts with a concentration in Acting and a minor in Communications. Jacob has over 15 years of experience working with diverse communities, with the goal of strengthening and developing social assets of the Black community. He is one of the creative minds behind Freedom Youth Startups, which is an entrepreneurial development program aimed toward changing the narrative of what it means to be a Black business owner in the Northland. As the executive director of Family Freedom Center, Jacob guides the organization according to the principles of his predecessors and community members while working towards building up unapologetically Black spaces and achieving goals that fulfil and surpass the dreams of our elders.
Pez is a New Jersey native and has been working with youth and families for 10+ years. Having moved to Duluth in 2016, his passion for serving those around him continues to be evident each day. He currently serves as the Operations Director for Family Freedom Center/Neighborhood Youth Services. He loves football and cheesecake.
Freedom Farms Coordinator
As the Freedom Farms coordinator I maintain the proceedings at our urban farm/ gathering space on 6th ave E and tenth street.
Stephen Sinclair has been with Neighborhood Youth Services since March 2022, and came under Family Freedom Center in August. He has worked in youth services and afterschool programs for the last eight years, including work at Northwood Children's Services, Voyageur Bus Company, AmeriCorps, and the Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln Park. He is focused on providing educational support to our kids as well as organizing activities on site and opportunities for exploration and involvement throughout our community.
Senior Youth Specialist
My goal is to promote positive support, growth, and development in the lives of our youth by working with their ability to make them successful.
Restorative Justice Specialist
Audrey is a 2022 graduate from the College of Saint Scholastica with a BA in Peace and Justice Studies. They have spent years working closely with children of all ages and backgrounds and has been passionate towards being a mentor to kids since they were in high school. Audrey joined Neighborhood Youth Services through the Family Freedom Center merger in August 2022. During this time, they volunteered in the kitchen when services were needed and has created amazing relationships with the kids at NYS.
Elders Services Coordinator
I’m 22 years old. I’m finishing up my two majors at UMD this semester. I majored in Environmental Sustainability and Geography, along with Sociology. I enjoy being outside and doing things like hike and play golf. Overall just enjoy having a good time.
Dr. Olaf Kuhlke wears multiple hats in the world of entrepreneurship. For the Family Freedom Center, he coordinates the Freedom Startups programs and teaches the Entrepreneurial sessions of the Adulting Basics Courses. For Integrative Resources LLC, he serves as president and offers occasional workshops on leadership. His full-time job is being an Associate Professor of Geography and Cultural Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he currently offers courses on cultural entrepreneurship and the creative industries. Dr. Kuhlke is a passionate advocate for the establishment of cultural entrepreneurship as an academic discipline and practice, and has several publications about the theoretical foundations of this new form of entrepreneurship emerging out of the liberal arts. Olaf originally hails from Germany. He loves to cook, read, and spend time outdoors on his fat bike.
Terrence "T" Sain
T is Family Freedom Center’s youth program coordinator. He brings creative energy to the team and works hard to ensure that programming is successful. T is also one of the first participants in the Freedom Youth Start-Ups program for young entrepreneurs, through which he plans to become a certified real estate broker, a project he hopes will help him create equitable housing opportunities along the North Shore. Through his work with FFC, he has also been able to connect his friends with business-resources in support of their business goals. T is attending Lake Superior College while continuing to develop his business acumen and develop new youth programming at FFC.
Hi, I'm Genesis! I started at NYS as an intern in 2020-21. As an intern, I ran arts and crafts activities with the kids. One of my favorites was making slime! I enjoyed the time I spent with the kids, so after my graduation in 2021, I decided to work at NYS full-time. I took a gap year, but I am back in school, so I'm working part-time at NYS. I'm excited to still be able to work here because I believe NYS is doing important work by providing a safe, fun, and educational space for children and youth.