Valerie Pires, a journalism major at LaGuardia Community College, is co-editor of the college news publication, e-Fiorello, and the photography blog, In Focus. Her Pulitzer Center multimedia project will document the experience of LGBTQI refugees in Greece and investigate the unique operational model of an LGBTQI shelter.
A New Yorker with an unconventional background, Pires has always been interested in the stories of others and how she could best tell them. Following a nontraditional path, she worked in broadcast journalism and documentary filmmaking in the U.S. and abroad. In 2020, Pires decided to return to college as a nontraditional student to pursue degrees in journalism and documentary film.
NYC-based but working globally, Pires’s focus is on investigative journalism and social documentary (photography and film). Using the written word, stills, and moving images, she plans to develop investigative multimedia storytelling that helps generate social impact. Pires is especially interested in issues related to human rights, realities of trauma, stories of marginalized communities, namely women, immigrants, refugees, and the LGBTQI community, and stories that address the intersectionality of politics, education, and culture.
In September 2021, Pires will pursue her BA in Film and Media Studies at Columbia University.