At 19 years old, Eric Okerblom was an exceptionally bright young man and an excited student at UC Berkeley. He lived his life mindful of his impact on the world around him and, in doing so, affected his community in a profound way.
Throughout his life, in addition to being a National Merit Scholar and a seven-time Varsity Letterman athlete, Eric took it upon himself to immerse himself in a spectrum of extracurricular activities and study. He explored hobbies ranging from beekeeping to photography, from the violin to running in the Los Angeles Marathon, from international travel to botany.
During the summer of 2009, three weeks after returning from a month-long trip to Nicaragua, Eric was pursuing his interest in cycling in hopes of joining the UCB team upon returning to school for his sophomore year. While riding on a long, straight road, Eric was struck from behind and killed by a distracted driver.
The absence of Eric's kindness, infectious interest in life, and radiation of potential, is an enormous loss to his loved ones, the community, and the world.
ERIC OKERBLOM FOUNDATION
The Eric Okerblom Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created in honor of the memory and life of Eric Okerblom. Due to Eric's cause of death - distracted driving, strongly believed to be linked to text messaging - the mission of the foundation is dedicated to furthering prevention efforts of similar tragedies from affecting other families and communities. In deference to Eric's interest in international development and human rights, the Foundation also devotes resources and support to underserved people and communities.
The mission of the Eric Okerblom Foundation is to:
- Combat distracted driving through education, enforcement, and legislation, such as through partnerships with All-State Insurance and Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, as well as the distribution of print and multimedia educational materials to schools.
- Promote access to health care for the employed uninsured through the Eric Okerblom Memorial Clinic located in Santa Maria, CA.
- Provide tools to the disadvantaged, such as through the development of scholarship opportunities.