According to the council’s website, focus groups at the time showed that teenagers were concerned that there weren’t enough opportunities for them in the village, while adults expressed frustration at the empty beer cans and the loud voices of young people heard late at night that were evidence of underage drinking.
“Beth is tireless,” said Andrea Connolly, strategic planning and fundraising chair for the Youth Council. “She’s always working to come up with new things to get the ninth-graders off the streets and … into a safe environment. She is constantly looking for ways for the kids to give back to the village through community service.”
Since its inception in 2009, the council has hosted events like weekend bowling parties and battles of the bands, and undertaken other, more creative programs — like the mannequin displays and the Student Lifeline Cards that allow Rockville Centre teenagers to call a car service to pick them up from the train station or other areas of the village if there is an emergency.
According to Richard Signarino, president of Student Lifeline, hundreds of rides were provided to students in the village in the past three years “as a result of the earnest and determined efforts of both [Youth Council Vice Chairman] Michael Cafferey and Beth Hammerman.”
Signarino added, “There is little question that these two community-active citizens have been directly responsible [for] averting the possible injury or death of youngsters that opted to place a call with a Student Lifeline Card.”
Many of those who are involved with the Youth Council describe to Hammerman as its driving force, a leader as persuasive as she is energetic. She is also a member of a number of other groups in the village, including the Lions Club. It is difficult to determine when she finds time to sleep, Connolly said, adding that she gets emails from Hammerman at all times of the night.