The passing of Alejandro Mejia, aka “Nasa,” the “kid with the big heart,” leaves a lasting impression on the school community

Mejia was known to many as “Nasa,” a nickname given to him by an instructor through the Eastern Marching Vikings. He had a massive impact in the program, playing in the battery section throughout his marching years. He was a mentor to everyone who knew him and was especially well versed at making any situation a learning situation.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






     To many, Eastern is a stepping stone to college, but for some students, it is a way to make a difference in their lives and others. Alejandro Mejia used his time in high school making a difference on every person in his life. 

    Mejia, an Eastern graduate of 2017 who was attending Drexel University, passed away over the summer on June 26, 2019 at the age of 20 due to cancer. 

    During his time at Eastern, Mejia was known to many as “Nasa,” a nickname given to him by an instructor through the Eastern Marching Vikings. He had a massive impact in the program, playing in the battery section throughout his marching years. He was a mentor to everyone who knew him and was especially well versed at making any situation a learning situation.

     Mr. Stanz, Band and Music Director, explained how Mejia was an example of a leader in the band program saying, “he was someone that anybody could go to ask a question and they would get a true formed honest answer.” 

    “Leader” is how many have described Nasa and his years with the marching band. His personality is well remembered by those who crossed his path and his smile and laugh is forever in their minds. 

     Mr. Trinkner, Visual Instructor to the Eastern Marching Vikings, spoke highly of Nasa as a student and leader, explaining that Nasa’s smile is one of the many things he misses most.

   “He was a guy who just had a big heart, always did his best,” said Trinkner. “He was the kind of kid who was studious and hardworking, respected, and fun to be around. Just made everyone’s day a little better.”

     Mike Rulbewsky is a current senior at Eastern who plays in the battery section as a tenor, just as Mejia did his senior year. Rulbewsky was impacted by Nasa, who was a senior when he was a freshman. Mejia acted as a mentor to him during his early band years. 

     “What I miss most is how he made everyone smile,” said Rulbewsky, “He didn’t have to say anything or do anything. Just his appearance made everyone smile. Just him being there made everyone’s day.” 

     This aspect of Nasa was also recalled by Regina Kollender, another senior in the pit section of the marching band. “As a freshman, I just remember him laughing all the time and he was always in a good mood,” she said when explaining his impact on her during her starting years with the marching band.

     His example is instilled in many. Kollender explained that even during his treatment, he continued life as normal as he could by going to his co-opt at Princeton University.

     Nasa helped every student who needed it. He was an example of how a band member should act. “I always practice the same way he does and whenever I’m in down times during practice or feeling down about myself I always say, ‘I’m doing this for Nasa, I’m doing this for him,’” Rulbewsky added. 

    Eastern and its marching band has lost an important member of their community due to the illness that took Nasa too soon. Mr. Trinkner explained that the school is looking to create an award in his honor, given to the student who has followed his characteristics of leadership and overall positivity. 

    Mr. Stanz said, “I want the band to keep his spirit around them and within the band, to remember him and his ways and try to emulate that,” 

   A leader and a positive spirit, Alejandro Mejia truly left his mark on the turf, and on the hearts of so many at Eastern.