TULSA, Okla. -- — On Thursday night Ashley Ledezma signed for an audience for the first time in years. But standing in front of the high school band at Edison is becoming second nature.
The junior applied to be the drum major, acting as conductor and leader at the beginning of this year. She beat out many candidates, despite facing an extra challenge.
"I have vision problems and I have hearing loss and I want to show the world that it doesn't matter what kind of problems you have, you can do anything," Ledezma said.
The drum major began playing flute in 6th grade, just a few years after going deaf at the age of five. She first noticed problems while sitting at the breakfast table.
"I told my mom "I can't hear nothing." Then my mom started getting worried about me and started to freak out and then I realized that I was deaf that morning," Ledezma said.
The junior's band teacher says she's a natural leader who doesn't get upset or frustrated, setting a positive example for her classmates.
"She really thought that she could lead the rest of the group as an example of what you need to do to work hard and to not give up no matter what you have in front of you," Doug Styers said.
Ledezma said when she performs she doesn't feel different from anyone else.