The WAVS team is made up of passionate individuals on two different continents working together to equip young men and women with life changing-job skills.
To see the WAVS School staff in Guinea-Bissau go here.
Chris traveled to Guinea-Bissau in February 2008 and saw first-hand how the WAVS School is transforming the community of Canchungo by giving students the job skills they need to provide for their families. In December 2010, he became the first full-time executive director of WAVS and has helped the organization expand its influence and pursue its vision.
Prior to joining WAVS, Chris was a journalist in Fresno, California, for five years and received several national and regional awards for investigative reporting. He spent six weeks covering the war in Iraq in late summer 2007 for McClatchy Newspapers.
Chris was born in Boston, grew up near Seattle and graduated from Whitworth University in Spokane in 2005 with bachelor's degrees in journalism and political studies.
Rebecca grew up in southern Arizona and moved to California in January 2018 to join the WAVS staff as the Administrative Associate. Before joining WAVS, Rebecca was the Receptionist and Administrative Assistant at Youth Haven, a nonprofit ministry in Arizona. Rebecca graduated from The Master’s University in 2014 with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and a minor in Biblical Studies. Rebecca has spent time volunteering in Cambodia and Peru, which ignited her passion for international nonprofit work.
Crystal grew up in Palmdale, California and moved to Fresno in 2001 to attend Fresno State. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, specializing in marketing, and received a minor in interior design. While at Fresno State, Crystal met the love of her life, Luke, who would become her husband.
Crystal later served as the Event Manager for The Grand 1401, a historic building in downtown Fresno. Crystal next worked as the Marketing Manager at STAR Fine Foods and helped build the company’s social media presence, expand its existing product lines, and manage its media campaigns.
In the meantime, Crystal also volunteered with WAVS to coordinate the décor at its annual dinner banquets in Fresno. In 2017, she joined WAVS as its Director of Marketing and Events. Crystal has always been impressed with how WAVS focuses on gospel-centered and long-term development in Guinea-Bissau and its drive to build relationships with the students and community while empowering them to rise out of poverty through vocational training.
WAVS Staff in Guinea-Bissau
Jenna has experience working in both education and international development. Prior to working for WAVS, Jenna spent several years as an elementary teacher in her home state, Wyoming, and volunteered in 13 different countries across the globe.
Jenna joined WAVS in July 2016 as the Director of International Development. She is passionate about creating equal access to quality education for all and is excited to be part of an organization providing tangible life skills to students in Guinea-Bissau.
Jenna holds a bachelor’s in both elementary education and Bible from the University of Northwestern St. Paul in Minnesota and a master’s in international development and service from Concordia University in Portland. Jenna spends the majority of the year living and working alongside the WAVS School staff in Canchungo, Guinea-Bissau.
Jason and Emily Atkins are WAVS staff serving in Guinea-Bissau along with their three children, Savannah, Nathaniel, and Miriam. The Atkins bring more than 10 years of experience working in Guinea-Bissau and a deep passion for the mission of WAVS.
Jason works closely with WAVS School staff as a program mentor in the school's welding department. Together, Jason and Emily work with WAVS to provide teacher training, program development, and administrative support.