Alexandra Zayas, a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times, has received the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, which honors "outstanding achievement by professionals under the age of 35."
Zayas won in the local reporting category for her series, In God's Name, published last year. Her articles uncovered abuses at unlicensed religious youth homes.
The organizers said Zayas "uncovered practices that could be called torture: children forcibly pinned to the ground for hours, placed in solitary confinement for days and made to stand still until urinating on themselves."
The series was also a finalist for this year's Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, and the winner of the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting.
Zayas, 30, received the award Thursday at a luncheon in New York. Afterward, she said the fact that she was allowed to work on the story for a year "is a testament to the commitment that the Tampa Bay Times has to its young journalists."
The award comes with a $10,000 prize.