WATERTOWN — Indian River High School Seniors Joseph Martin and Alexa Solar were recently honored as the inaugural recipients of the Northern New York Community Foundation Gabriel Otero & Lexie Morgan Memorial Scholarship.
The Gabriel Otero & Lexie Morgan Memorial Scholarship was established at the Community Foundation in March 2020 shortly after the two Indian River High School students passed away following a motor vehicle accident in January.
Gabriel Otero was a junior at Indian River while Lexie Morgan was a senior and the two had a close-knit relationship and were active in several school activities. The scholarship honors their legacies of service to others and commitments to seeking higher education.
Gabriel was a gifted musician who started playing the clarinet, then the saxophone, and then he taught himself how to play the guitar and was teaching himself piano. He was active in the school’s marching band. Gabriel was planning to follow in his mother’s footsteps to become an IT specialist.
Lexie was a varsity cheerleader and student leader with Indian River Pop Warner Cheer. She was also enrolled in the medical assistant program at Jeff-Lewis BOCES in Watertown and aspired to become an OB/GYN doctor.
Otero-Morgan Scholars are Indian River seniors who have been involved in band and cheerleading and plan to continue their education.
“We join the Otero and Morgan families in our commitment to remember these two young lives in such a powerful and meaningful way,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “Especially this first year, but in a lasting way, this scholarship reminds others of how love endures and can have a ripple effect that is beyond understanding.”
Joseph “Joey” Martin is the recipient of the Gabriel Otero Award and was a member of several music ensembles, including band and chorus. Outside the classroom, he was captain of the varsity football team and a member of the varsity lacrosse team.
Since primary school, he has been an active participant in the Indian River Community Youth Organization, which supports several community causes and civic agencies. Joey will attend the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where he plans to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree in vocal music and music education and become a high school choral teacher. He is the son of Katherine and Steven Martin, Philadelphia.
Alexa Solar is the recipient of the Lexie Morgan Award and was a three-year member of the varsity cheerleading team, serving as captain in her senior year. She has participated in cheer for more than 10 years, through which she has participated in community service and civic activities.
Alexa will attend SUNY Jefferson to study nursing. She plans to continue her education at SUNY Potsdam to become a Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She is the daughter of Tammi Dindl and William Solar II and stepmother Beth Solar.
Maria Otero, Gabriel’s mother, presented Joey with the award, which includes a $500 scholarship, and Jessica Morgan, Lexie’s mother, presented Alexa with the award, which also includes a $500 scholarship. To join in helping to perpetuate the legacies of Gabriel Otero and Lexie Morgan, make gifts to the Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington St., Watertown NY 13601, or online at www.nnycf.org.
About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations, charitable foundations, and generous families and individual donors, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the region. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving and honoring legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.
The Community Foundation is a resource for local charitable organizations, donors, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.