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.”