Person of the Year 2012: Beth Hammerman

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One of her two daughters, Jessica, told a story of a family trip to Vietnam. “We were traveling in Vietnam together on an overnight bus,” Jessica recounted. “Mom was so excited on the bus that she spent hours staring out the window until total darkness. Each time I woke up and looked over, I’d say, ‘Mom, what are you doing awake? Go to sleep.’ She’d respond by saying, ‘I don’t want to miss anything!’”

Hammerman’s dedication to the Youth Council and her persistence in making Rockville Centre a safer place for teenagers have impressed village officials as well as the students her work benefits. Mayor Francis Murray, who has joined a number of council efforts to clean up the streets and parks, praised Hammerman’s commitment, and Parks and Recreation Superintendent Anthony Brunetta said she is a perfect role model.

“Beth is the type of person that does not just complain about what others should do; she does it, and makes it happen,” said Police Commis-sioner Charles Gennario. “She has made a true difference. One look at the kids involved in her program and you know she’s a success.”

While her efforts may not yet have reached every teenager in Rockville Centre, it is clear that she has inspired many, who look to her as a model of character as well as organizational efficiency.

“Beth, in simplest terms, keeps the Youth Council organized, focused and, most of all, motivated,” said the organization’s president, South Side High School Senior Michael Garcia. “Beth will always make you feel welcome, and work with you on any idea that you have, no matter how big or small, and she is always encouraging. Beth will see projects through and she will never forget a detail, and I think this is a part of the reason why everything she does is such a huge success.”

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