Vanessa A. Ravenelle, the ombudsman and community liaison for Camden County Superior Court, was honored by the Camden County Technical School District as its Business Partner of the Year.
The award is given annually to a county vocational technical school business partner for outstanding contributions to career and technical education. Business partners play a variety of roles, including serving on county vocational technical school program advisory boards, offering opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience, donating equipment, or serving as mentors and role models for students.
Ravenelle has served as a career program advisory committee member for the business programs at Camden County Technical Schools since 2015.
During the 2018-19 school year, Ravenelle worked closely with all of the division managers at the courthouse to come up with plans for an unpaid internship experience for students. The program was named “A Day in the Life: Planting Roots, Expanding Knowledge.”
Ravenelle and a colleague made a presentation to juniors and seniors from the business programs at each campus regarding careers in the courts, and provided an overview of the internship program.
Twelve students participated in an orientation provided by members of court administration. Each week, the students rotated among various departments at the Hall of Justice, including finance, human resources, probation, family court, operations and equal employment opportunity/affirmative action, criminal, civil, municipal and information technology.
Each year, Ravenelle also organizes a Law Day for high school students that consists of a poster contest, writing contest, and a formal program at the Hall of Justice. Last year’s theme was “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.” Approximately 40 students from Camden County Technical School District participated in this program.
For the 2019-20 school year, Ravenelle continues to plan activities for students. In addition to the student internships at the courthouse, she is organizing another endeavor, “Our Courts, Our Schools.” The program will provide a guest judge to visit legal assistant classes at both campuses as a guest speaker. The students will then visit the Hall of Justice to meet with the same judge at the courthouse.