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HomeNewsBRIEF: Whitworth alumna featured in Christianity Today’s “33 Under 33” issue

BRIEF: Whitworth alumna featured in Christianity Today’s “33 Under 33” issue


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Jena Lee Nardella/Contributed photo
Jena Lee Nardella/Contributed photo

At the age of 22, Jena Nardella, a ’04 Whitworth graduate, co-founded Blood:Water Mission with the Christian band Jars of Clay, in 2005. The nonprofit partners with organizations in Africa to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and to provide communities with sanitation and clean water, and have raised over $22 million to date. Nardella serves as the executive director of Blood:Water, according to a press release.

Nardella and Blood:Water were recently featured in Christianity Today magazine’s “33 Under 33” issue.

“I couldn’t have started Blood:Water without the support of the Whitworth faculty,” Nardella says. One faculty member who stands out in particular Professor of Political Science Julia Stronks. “She sat with me after hours to help write a proposal to Jars of Clay to start a humanitarian organization,” Nardella said in a press release.

While at Whitworth, Nardella volunteered for AIDS hospice work and organized an AIDs activist chapter on campus, and she spent time getting to know people living in the Spokane area who were HIV positive.

“Taking on challenges like ending the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa require a commitment beyond idealism,” Nardella said. “I am grateful to the Whitworth community for fueling a movement that is providing life-saving water and HIV/AIDS support to hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters in Africa.” 

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Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.


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