DALLAS — A local talent from Royse City got to share her voice in front of thousands of attendees of the second annual Dallas Women’s March on Jan. 19.

Vilma Ledferd, a junior at Royse City High School, was selected by organizers to sing at the closing ceremony of the march, which took place at Pike Park. Event organizers said that at least 7,000 people attended this year’s event, designed to recognize and spread awareness on the women’s rights movement.

Ledferd said the opportunity was a great honor, and said the performance was the biggest gig of her singing career.

“I went to the march last year, and going to it for the first time was an amazing experience that is still memorable to me,” Ledferd said. “Just seeing all these women come together and speaking up for what’s right, I think a lot of people should look into that.”

State Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas, lead organizer of the event, said that she became a mentor to Ledferd before entering public office in 2016. Since then, Neave said she has seen Ledferd grow into an active leader in her community.

Ledferd was invited to sing at Neave’s 2018 campaign kickoff event earlier last year, where she performed “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Neave said seeing Ledferd perform the song inspired the idea to invite her to sing at Saturday’s march.

“Vilma sang at one of our events a few months ago, and as we were thinking of talent that we wanted to invite for the march, I thought she would be a great individual for us to include in our program,” Neave said.

In addition to “Rise Up,” Ledferd also sang “Superwoman,” recently popularized by Alicia Keys. Rhetta Bowers, chair of the Dallas Women’s March, said that the songs were chosen in light of their inspiring message to women.

“We just felt that her singing ‘Rise Up’ would help push women to get out there and be encouraged to take one step at a time to keep moving forward,” Bowers said.

“Women are stepping up and really working to make a difference, and they’re getting out to make sure that their voices are heard.”

 Erika Ledferd, Vilma’s mother, who is running for a seat on the Rockwall County Commissioner’s Court in 2018, said that she is proud to see her daughter’s participation with the event.

“As a mother, as an immigrant and as someone who cares about human rights, to see my own daughter taking the steps to empower not just herself, but many others, is just wonderful,” Ledferd said.

In September 2017, Vilma Ledferd attended a youth leadership seminar in Washington D.C., that was organized by the League of United Latin American Citizens. Through this experience, Ledferd said that she was moved by the increased representation of women in government.

“I feel very honored to be a part of the change,” Ledferd said. “Hopefully, it will inspire many women to also join us in the change.”

Ledferd, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of Neave, Bowers and her mother, said she has plans to major in political science in college. She also has an interest in law and musical theatre.