A young Grand Prairie woman made a choice that changed her life, and now, she's one of the best boxers in the world.
But she couldn't have succeeded without help along the way that came in part from Grand Prairie police
She was among a group selected for recognition at the White House, and last week she met Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Indeya Smith lost her father at a very young age. After struggling for years, her family of four moved to Grand Prairie three years ago to be closer to family.
"It was hard for me because I was a sophomore and everybody already knew each other so, I didn't really make a lot of friends,” said Smith.
Being new to the area, Smith wanted to try something new and different.
"I just randomly thought, ‘I want to try boxing. It seems like a cool sport,’” said Smith.
"She had the heart to do it,” said Sgt. Alex Bielawski with the Grand Prairie Police Department. “And she kept going and she kept practicing and she kept getting better until she worked her way into the ring. And then she stood above the crowd and I noticed her.”
And rise she did under the mentorship of the Grand Prairie Police Department's youth boxing club. She's ranked fifth in the world in her weight class.
"It's pretty neat seeing one of the kids that came out of this gym work their way up like that,” said Bielawski.
Her victories in the gym caught the attention of the White House by a program called Champions of Change.
"I definitely never thought when I started boxing that I'd go all the way to the White House,” said Smith. “It was just very…my only thought was, ‘This is crazy!’”
She’s now a Grand Prairie police intern with aspirations of being a police officer.
"My future is definitely something in law enforcement,” said Smith. “I want to be a police officer, but you know things can change, but definitely law enforcement."
Whether she's fighting for a ranking in the ring or serving and protecting on the street, one thing is clear: she wants to make a difference.
"I feel like it makes people think twice about what they think about officers,” said Smith. “Because I have personal, hands-on experience with them. Instead of just saying, ‘Oh, you know, police officers are just good; they're the law, you know, good.’ No. I actually know them personally and they are really nice people."