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Organizations /  Amherst Task Force


The Amherst Task Force for Healthy Communities and Healthy Youth is a diverse group of community leaders, educators, parents and citizens who collaborate to support positive youth development efforts throughout the Town of Amherst. Our group meets monthly to discuss issues, make decisions and take action to support asset development.

Mission, Goals and Principles

  • The mission of the Amherst Task Force for Healthy Community / Healthy Youth is to support, promote and link community asset building efforts for youth and their families.


  • Collaborate to support the Healthy Community / Healthy Youth Initiative.
  • Disseminate current Search Institute survey results of our elementary, middle school and high school youth.
  • Support activities to reduce underage drinking.
  • Recognize businesses that support youth.
  • Partner with youth in developing a healthy community.
  • Encourage communications among schools, families, youth, adults and the Amherst Task Force for Healthy Community / Healthy Youth.
  • Reach out to communities beyond the Town of Amherst to share ideas and resources to create a common vision.

Guiding Principles

  • Recognize and build strengths in young people.
  • Create meaningful connections with family members, schools, adults, peers, young children and the community.
  • Inspire, invite and empower all adults and youth to contribute to the well-being of the community.
  • Engage youth as partners in planning activities and evaluating programs.
  • Recognize youth as resources, contributors and leaders in asset building efforts.

2021 Amherst Task Force Members

  • Michael J. Belle-Isle, Amherst Central School District Assistant Superintendent for Student & Staff Services
  • Jacqualine Berger, Councilmember Amherst Town Board
  • Dr. Anna Cieri, Community Member
  • Dr. Rosa D’Abate, Williamsville Central Schools Coordinator of Student Services
  • Karen Dobos, Community Member
  • Laura Ehrenreich, Town of Amherst Youth & Recreation Dept. Recreation Supervisor
  • Honorable Geoff Klein, Amherst Town Court Judge
  • Robin Klein, Community Member
  • Katie Leonard, UB Community Wellness Coalition Prevention Coordinator
  • Dr. Susan McClary, Community Member Convener of Amherst Task Force
  • Officer John McGarvey, Town of Amherst Police Dept. Safety Officer
  • Kathy Mobarak-Miller, Town of Amherst Youth & Recreation Dept. Asset Development Specialist
  • Jennifer Noga, Community Member Parent Representative
  • Anne Nowak, Sweet Home Family Support Center Coordinator
  • Mary-Diana Pouli, Town of Amherst Youth & Recreation Dept. Executive Director
  • Anne Rohrer, Amherst Task Force for Healthy Community
    *Healthy Youth Coalition Coordinator
  • Peggy Romano, Scintillae-Rising Stars President
  • Sally Yageric, Prevention Council of Erie County Director of Community Programs

Affiliate Members

  • Trey Measer, Bee Group Newspapers Publisher
  • Reverend Amir Tawadrous Amherst Presbyterian Church


The Amherst Task Force is fortunate to have the Amherst Bee as a supportive media partner. A monthly Task Force column appears in the Amherst Bee. Please visit the Amherst Bee website or links below for related articles:

Asset Development/Search Institute Survey Information

The Town of Amherst Youth Board, working closely with the Amherst, Sweet Home and Williamsville Central School Districts, has to date, administered several Search Institute Wellness Surveys of Student Attitudes and Behaviors.  The survey results are used as a basis for long-range program planning to positively impact on the lives of our community’s young people and their families.

The result has identified 40 developmental assets, or building blocks, that enhance the health and well-being of young people and assist them in being successful at home, school and in the community.  The more “assets” that young people have , the less risky behavior they will exhibit.  Assets have been identified for each age grouping: infant, toddler, pre-school, elementary school and adolescent.

Help kids grow healthy and promote developmental assets.

  • Feel loved and supported by family.
  • Can communicate positively and talk openly with parents.
  • Has 3 other positive adults (besides parents) in their life.
  • Has neighbors that care about them.
  • School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
  • Parents are involved in school.
  • Adults value youth in community.
  • Young person is given useful roles in the community.
  • Young person helps others 1 hour per week or more.
  • Feels safe at school, home and in their neighborhood.
  • Family has clear rules and consequences and knows whereabouts at all times.
  • School provides clear rules and boundaries.
  • Neighbors watch and report young people’s behavior.
  • Adults act in a positive and responsible way.
  • Young person’s friends act in a responsible way.
  • Parents encourage them to do well.
  • Spends 3 hours a week or more in music, arts, or theatre.
  • Spends 3 hours a week or more in sports, clubs or organizations.
  • Spends 1 hour per week or more in religious activities.
  • Only hangs out with friends with nothing to do two or less nights a week.
  • Wants to do well in school.
  • Participates in class.
  • Does one hour or more of homework each day.
  • Cares about his/her school.
  • Reads for fun 3 or more hours per week.
  • Places high value on helping other people.
  • Believes in equality and helping hungry/needy.
  • Acts on convictions and stands up for his/her beliefs.
  • Tells the truth even though it may not be easy.
  • Accepts and takes personal responsibility.
  • Believes it is important to be drug free and not sexually active.
  • Knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
  • Shows empathy, sensitivity and respects the feeling of others.
  • Knows about and feels okay with other cultures.
  • Resists negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
  • Resolves problems without the use of violence.
  • Feels he or she has control over what happens to them.
  • High sense of self-esteem.
  • Feels that they have a purpose in life.
  • Optimistic about his or her personal future and plans

Underage Drinking Initiative

Public Service Announcements Videos

Safe Proms and Safe Graduations

On behalf of all concerned adults and youth, the Amherst Task Force yearly communicates with limousine operators, hotel/motel owners and managers.  We ask them to follow guidelines, which would protect our young people during prom and graduation celebrations.

Guidelines for Limousine Companies

  • All drivers’ backgrounds and driving records are checked.
  • Only the most responsible and safest adults should be driving our children.
  • Have commercial or livery insurance.

Guidelines for Hotels and Motels

Discourage the rental of rooms for the purpose of gathering of young people who wish to party.  The use of alcohol and other drugs are common at these gatherings. Many times, situations may arise which are unsafe, unhealthy and illegal when alcohol is present.

Developmental Assets: A Profile of Your Youth

Executive Summary and Complete Survey Report 2018

About Amherst

The Town of Amherst was established in 1818 and celebrated its 200th Anniversary in 2018. The town has a geographical area of 53.6 square miles and a population of greater than 122,000. Amherst community videos.

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  • General Information:
    (716) 631-7000
  • Email:
  • Address:
    Municipal Building (Town Hall)
  • 5583 Main Street
  • Williamsville, NY 14221