Starkville Daily News - - FO­RUM -

around and there is some­one be­hind you.”

Tan­nehill is plan­ning a 10week pro­gram for as many as 15 girls who would meet

dur­ing school hours. The mayor said she would at­tend the weekly meet­ings, which would also fea­ture guest speak­ers from the com­mu­nity.

Tan­nehill and her as­sis­tant, Cindy Semmes, got to work

on the pro­gram shortly af­ter the elec­tion. They reached out to Amy Tate, an as­sis­tant to a for­mer Tu­pelo mayor who had started a sim­i­lar lead­er­ship pro­gram in Tu­pelo, for ad­vice on how they might pro­ceed in Ox­ford.

The mayor said she wants the pro­gram to teach girls how to im­prove their lis­ten­ing and de­bate skills, as well as how to have a con­ver­sa­tion — rather than an ar­gu­ment — with some­one with op­pos­ing views. She also hopes the

pro­gram can end with a trip to Jack­son so the girls could visit the state Capi­tol when the Mis­sis­sippi Leg­is­la­ture is in ses­sion.

“My par­ents al­ways told me I could do any­thing in the world I wanted to do,”

Tan­nehill said. “I was crazy enough to be­lieve them. How­ever, a lot of peo­ple haven’t been given that same mes­sage. I think it’s im­por­tant for to give that mes­sage to young peo­ple across the board.”

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