News and analysis
January 05, 2016

Jena Lee Nardella: Faith in the Mission

Barak Bruerd

Jena Lee Nardella, 33
Venture Partner Praxis
Co-founder, Blood: Water
Nashville

Jena Lee Nardella’s high-school classmates voted her "Most Likely to Devote My Life to a Lost Cause." They were only partly right.

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Blood: Water, a nonprofit she started as a college senior with the Christian rock band Jars of Clay, plunged into Africa to bring clean water to communities hit by HIV infections.

Eleven years later, Blood: Water has helped build more than 1,000 wells, and Ms. Nardella has become a nonprofit star with a new book, One Thousand Wells; a cameo at the 2012 Democratic National Convention; and a gig training young faith-based social entrepreneurs through the New York-based accelerator Praxis.

"Lost causes are only lost if you leave them behind," she says.

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