Photo courtesy of District Attorney's Office.
Acting Queens District Attorney John M. Ryan, far right, joins Far Rockaway public school students participating in the year-long STAR Track anti-violence program at the 22nd Annual “Say Yes to Tennis – No to Violence” Day.

Acting Queens District Attorney John M. Ryan partnered with the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) and the New York Junior Tennis and Learning to host over 600 Far Rockaway students on May 24 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The event marked the 22nd iteration of the “Say Yes to Tennis — No to Violence” Day, which was started by recently deceased DA Richard A. Brown, an avid tennis player and fan of the U.S. Open.

“A small idea ballooned into a great program to promote positive youth development for youngsters in the furthest regions of Queens County. The goal was from the beginning to introduce teens and pre-teens to tennis — a game that incorporates important life lessons, such as fair play and self-control,” Ryan said.

The annual event closes the DA’s year-long Straight Talk About Risks (STAR) anti-violence program, through which assistance district attorneys and other legal professionals visited nine Far Rockaway schools to talk about the risks of guns, drugs and gangs. The program visited elementary to high schools including Public Schools 43, 104, 106, 197, 333, Queens High School for Information Research and Technology, Village Academy and Academy of Medical Technology Middle School and High School.

The day’s activities brought students together with National Tennis Center pros for instruction.

“It is my hope that each and every child has benefitted from this experience in a positive and productive way and that the lessons learned will help them to have bright and successful futures,” said Ryan.

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