Known for his encouraging nature and ability to make friends wherever he went, Erik Alexander Medina influenced the lives of many.
The beginning of his life was rocky, but just like his challenges later in life, he persevered. Erik’s mother, Klaudia Medina, said Erik, the oldest of two, was her first love.
“As a mom, that’s where I learned the meaning of unconditional love,” Klaudia said. “He came into this world six weeks early, so he was a preemie. He had some breathing difficulties when he was born, and he required a little more care than a lot of babies, but he soon caught up.”
Erik’s heart was always in the right place, Klaudia said, comforting and assisting the other students when he started school. He was at the top of his class early despite being the youngest of his peers, and he loved complex puzzles and reading, even if it wasn’t exactly what he was supposed to be doing.
“Erik was not problematic,” Klaudia said. “He was very friendly, loving and helpful with his peers when they would struggle academically. The extent of the problems that I had with him was the teacher calling me because he was carrying extra books in his backpack so he could do his reading while the teacher was [instructing] the class.”
Among his other traits, Klaudia said Erik was determined in school, in his fraternity and in all he decided to accomplish. As a biomedical sciences major, Erik had plans to become a doctor, and his mother was confident he would achieve his long-time goal.
“I think the three most important traits he had was that he was very dedicated, responsible and he followed through with everything,” Klaudia said. “He would have done it. I have no doubt that my son would have been a doctor because that’s what he wanted from a very young age.”
Klaudia said Erik was excited to come to Texas A&M and kept himself busy with classes and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Fellow fraternity member and high school friend of Erik’s, Tristen Gonzalez, said Erik was happy to be an Aggie.
“I think that was the reason he was so excited to join the fraternity and be a part of the Aggie family because it made him a part of something a lot bigger and he wanted to be connected to a lot of people,” Gonzalez said. “He loved talking to people.”
Blinn student and close friend of Erik, David DeLeon said Erik showed dedication in so many ways, especially at A&M.
“He really gave his all in everything that he did — especially class,” DeLeon said. “He was a really hard-working guy. Day and night, he’s studying… He did it with a smile on his face. He wasn’t one to complain about anything.”
DeLeon said Erik was one of his best friends and he valued him for the attention and care he gave to the ones he loved.
“Despite his extreme dedication to study[ing], he always found the time to spend time with the people he loved,” DeLeon said. “He always had a smile on his face. He was always the light of the room, and he never failed to spread joy and laughter to everyone he met. I’m just really blessed to be able to say that I was able to share a smile with him, and I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way because he was just that kind of guy.”
Gonzalez said Erik was driven academically, but also pushed his friends to do the same. Erik would drag him out of bed if he knew there was something Gonzalez had to do. He said Erik was like the angel on his shoulder telling him to do the right thing.
“Even after staying up until 5 a.m., he’d wake us up at 8 a.m. to go to the library, even when we didn’t want to get up,” Gonzalez said. “He was just that kind of person that just made the people around him better people. For that, I was most grateful for having met him.”
One trait everyone valued in Erik was his openness and warmth to others, whether they were a friend or stranger.
“There were friends that didn’t know each other, [but] in speaking with them, he had this motherly nature about him, where they were comfortable with him,” Klaudia said. “He brought them in, one of the girls described it as [if] he was a glue. A glue to two different groups, where he made them feel comfortable with each other. That’s something nice. Not everybody can do that. That’s something special, I think, that he had.”
Erik’s mother said he lived life to the fullest, always giving all of his efforts, whether it was in school or his relationships with friends and family. He loved others just as they loved him.
“I have a lot of peace in knowing that my son had a happy life down to the last day,” Klaudia said. “He was enjoying just spending time with his friends [and] he had worked really hard in school.”