Volunteer Spotlight: Landon Eberlin

An interest in accounting has taught 18-year-old Landon Eberlin about return on investment. As a middle school and high school student, he reaped benefits attending the Riverbender Community Canter events and programs. As a high school junior, he decided it was time to sow.

During his junior and senior years at Alton High School, Eberlin amassed more than 200 volunteer hours at the Center; even though only 160 are required for extra credit hours.

“I had been going there since eighth grade, so I thought it was time for me to return the favor to the Center for all it had done for me,” Eberlin said. “I thought, ‘these people are doing this for free and giving of their time. I have a lot of spare time. I should give some of my time.’ I signed up to volunteer and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Eberlin said he first attended the Center at the invitation of some school friends. Several years later, he hardly remembers an activity he hasn’t attended as a student or volunteer.

“Not recently, no,” he said of recalling any absences from events. “I remember missing a few in the spring when I got sick. But that’s about it.”

Eberlin’s first volunteer experience consisted of helping with clean-ups and roaming through the Center making sure all the student guests were enjoying themselves. Later, he found a home as the kitchen cashier.

“It’s been at least a year and a half now,” he said of landing in his perch behind the kitchen cash register. “But I didn’t start there.”

Eberlin, a freshman at Lewis and Clark Community College who plans to get his general studies credits then advance to a major in business, said “I had a thing for accounting for awhile. But I kind of think I might really like to start my own company.”

Recalling his first impression of the Center Eberlin said, “Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. The people there have been very good to me.”

The Godfrey resident said he learned a lot about volunteering on the fly. “But people also trained me. Don’t be afraid to try it. I believe anyone who decides to be a volunteer will find very nice people here.”