Next time you see him, call him Versatile Victor.
As he would put it, a good word to describe him is ‘versatile’.
The ability to step in and adapt to a new situation has given Victor Prieto this title.
“That is important to have in the world of journalism, especially today,” Prieto said.
Indeed, it is his versatility that led him to receive the Hearst Award.
If you don’t know Prieto, being a sports fan and a fan of intricate storytelling go hand in hand, which made him a prime candidate for the Hearst award. After being given the prompt to tell a story of reemergence in his community, he knew that he had to think outside of the box. That was when he stumbled on an advertisement for a run club in Miami. The club used to meet every week before COVID-19 happened.
Now, that he had a story, all he wanted was a face. That was when he met 39-years-old U.S. Paralympian Regas Woods. In ‘Run, Regas, Run’, Prieto told the story of a double amputee born with a congenital anomaly that prevented his tibia and fibula from properly developing.
This story had consumed a lot of Prieto’s time. But he was too invested to feel a thing. Furthermore, the sleepless nights were nothing compared to what was about to come.
Prieto’s journey to winning the Hearst award
Prieto started that day like anyone who was waiting for a result would, stressful. What made that day even worse, was when he started his internship with the Tennessean.
That day did not come easy for him.
Before that day, he also had already lost his hope after sending a story earlier to Hearst and finished 12th in the television features. Even more, after UF almost pulled out of the competition. For those who don’t know, to qualify for the Hearst National Championship, you need to come first and be in the top five to qualify for the semifinal.
However, after talking to one of his peers, he reconsidered. He sent his story in multimedia features. This time, he did the right thing. He finished second and was qualified for the semifinal.
It was more fear than harm. Prieto received second place in the 2021 Hearst Journalism Awards Multimedia III, but he expected another result.
“I was kind of hoping to finish 3rd. To be honest, I was proud by just being there,” he said.
Prieto’s story certainly came in second place and got $2,000 in prizes. However, he found himself an even greater satisfaction ‘the smile on Woods’ face’.
“He was such a cool person to be around, I was really happy that I could give him something that he can share,” Prieto said.
Prieto is not new to winning prizes
Prieto got into the journalism field at a very young age. In his high school, he held the roles of a sportscaster, reporter, broadcaster, and writer. In 2017, he was honored at the Sports Emmy Awards as the Jim McKay Memorial Scholarship Recipient for Sports Television.
Prieto wakes up with a new determination every day while focusing on his internship, which is unable to talk about the bigger picture. However, one thing is certain, Prieto will always do what he loves the most “giving the voice to people who don’t have one”.