(CNN) -- Sara Ganim and members of The Patriot-News Staff in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting on Monday for their coverage of the spiraling Penn State sex abuse scandal.
They were among the 2012 winners of the Pulitzer Prizes, the top U.S. awards for journalism, including photojournalism, as well as letters, drama and music.
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, 68, faces 52 counts involving sexual acts with 10 boys dating back to 1994. Prosecutors allege he met some of his accusers through a charity he created for underprivileged children.
Ganim, 24, is credited with breaking that story and working to push it forward on the national stage. She is a 2008 graduate of Penn State and has worked as a CNN contributor.
On her personal website, Ganim says she has been a newspaper reporter since she was 15 years old. She joined The Patriot-News as a crime reporter last year.
"I have a police scanner on my nightstand. I fall to sleep and wake up to the morning news. I work 60-hour weeks digging and investigating, chatting up sources, and peeling back layers until I find amazing stories," she writes.
Ganim is one of the youngest journalists to win a Pulitzer Prize, according to administrator Sig Gissler.
In 1985, Jackie Crosby, 23, was given the award in what was then specialized reporting, he said.
"It's unusual for someone that young to win," said Gissler, but "heartening to see that we've got some young journalists that are coming up that are doing terrific work."
The allegations against Sandusky led to the firing of Penn State's heralded head football coach Joe Paterno only months before he died of complications from lung cancer. The investigation also led to former school officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz being charged with perjury and failure to report a crime.
Sandusky has pleaded not guilty and remains under house arrest until his trial begins June 5.
Here is a complete list of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners:
Public Service --The Philadelphia Inquirer
Breaking News Reporting -- The Tuscaloosa (Alabama) News Staff
Investigative Reporting -- Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley of The Associated Press and Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong of The Seattle Times
Explanatory Reporting -- David Kocieniewski of The New York Times
Local Reporting -- Sara Ganim and members of The Patriot-News Staff, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
National Reporting -- David Wood of The Huffington Post
International Reporting -- Jeffrey Gettleman of The New York Times
Feature Writing -- Eli Sanders of The Stranger, a Seattle (Washington) weekly
Commentary -- Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune
Criticism -- Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe
Editorial Writing -- No award
Editorial Cartooning -- Matt Wuerker of Politico
Breaking News Photography -- Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse
Feature Photography -- Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post
Fiction -- No award
Drama -- "Water by the Spoonful" by Quiara Alegria Hudes
History -- "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention," by the late Manning Marable (Viking)
Biography -- "George F. Kennan: An American Life," by John Lewis Gaddis (The Penguin Press)
Poetry -- "Life on Mars" by Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf Press)
General Nonfiction -- "The Swerve: How the World Became Modern," by Stephen Greenblatt (W.W. Norton and Company)
Music -- "Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts" by Kevin Puts (Aperto Press)