WALTER EILAND, CO-FOUNDER, AT-LARGE DIRECTOR,
100 BLACK MEN OF SYRACUSE
“You need a mentor, and then you need to become a mentor. If you don’t have a good mentor, someone that gives you good direction, you can easily be mentored into the wrong things. We say that a lot about our drug dealers and how youth look at them, and their bling, bling, their nice cars, and everything, and see that as an attraction. Yeah, get mentored by someone doing negative stuff, and it can ruin your life.
“Find someone doing things good and positive and true. See how that person developed those qualities. Then be willing to follow them until you can walk on your own. A proverb talks about how you can give a man a fish and he’ll eat for day. But if you teach him how to fish, he can eat for a lifetime.”
In December 2019, Walter Eiland retired after 27 years at Crouse Hospital. Now, he devotes attention to his second business, W.E. Enterprise Property Management, and to his active role in community organizations like 100 Black Men of Syracuse, which he co-founded with Jerome Walker in 2008. A father himself, Walter’s experience mentoring youth has only grown deeper even as his business interests have grown.
“I can feed you, be your mentor, and try to instill all I can in you. But if I don’t teach you how to be a mentor, then all you’re going to do is take what I had and keep it to yourself. One of the 100 Black Men mantras is that we mentor across a lifetime. I need a mentor. This means that you have to get outside of your comfort zone.”