Colette Ankenman


Major Professor: Martin Smith


Colette Ankenman is a graduate student at University of California, Davis pursuing a Master’s Degree in Child Development. After graduating from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies and Consumer and Community Studies, Colette was an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Refugee Services Office in Salt Lake City, where she helped oversee refugee youth programs for the State of Utah. Her main areas of focus were: youth leadership, college readiness and female empowerment. Colette is also president and founder of Baragwanath Blessings Inc. (BB Inc.), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with the mission of helping babies and children in need around the world. BB Inc.’s main project areas are: hat and blanket distribution, health and nutrition, education support and service-learning. This work has allowed Colette to see children, families, schools and communities become more empowered and service oriented.

Research Interests

Colette’s main research interest is how service-learning in childhood can promote positive youth development, build community and establish a life-long practice of service. She is currently working with 4-H to meaningfully incorporate service-learning into a wildlife depredation prevention curriculum. She is especially passionate about how to effectively involve underrepresented youth in service and community development work. Other research interests include participatory action research, asset-based development, community development, parent-child relations, and home, school and community relations.