Our Name

Rising Ground Group

Leake & Watts is Rising Ground

For nearly two centuries, we have been about helping our neighbors. The ways in which we help, just like the needs of the people we support have changed over time. We began in 1831 as the Leake and Watts Orphan House and have evolved today to be a vital positive part of the lives of literally thousands of New Yorkers. Our new name is designed to better convey this work and its impact.

As we looked at how to better tell the story of our work — so that we may more readily attract support for our efforts and that those we support may more easily identify our services — we ultimately decided to change our name, logo, and tagline as well as to modify our mission and vision statements and revamp our web site — to effectively rebrand.

We examined the wide range of work we do and asked what is it that unites these very different aspects of this multi-service organization. The notion of “Rising” emerged — a consistent theme of people moving forward and upward in their lives along paths they choose . . . toward goals they have set for themselves. It became even clearer as we thought more about that ours is a message of hope and opportunity and the possibility of positive change. Toward that end, through our work we are providing a foundation — a solid ground from which to move forward, grow, and move forward — skills, concrete assistance, and a network of supports.

There you have it — a solid foundation and this upward trajectory. This is who we are, and it is what we work toward. And it’s time we have a name that reflects this and that we are even clearer in our hopeful message.

And thus our new name — Rising Ground — announced in April 2018. We are excited about rebranding because we have a great story to tell, and we have not undertaken this change lightly. We remain committed to the work we started in 1831, helping New York’s children, adults, and families to rise above adversity, providing them with the foundations upon which to make positive change possible in their lives.

Alans Signature

Alan Mucatel
Executive Director

Spring Benefit

“Without letting go of our rich and inspiring history, our new name connects to and clearly communicates the underlying positive themes inherent in our work. We offer a solid foundation of support, providing people with the resources, hope, and opportunity to move forward and up as they reach their goals.”

FAQs About Our New Name

Why was the name changed?

In almost 200 years of service, we’ve changed a lot — we have a broader mission and expanded services to new communities. We need a name that better communicates what we do. We want people to know what we stand for, and to find us easily as they search  for support. Our new name also eliminates some of the issues with the name Leake & Watts.

How did you select the new name?

The new name was chosen after a lengthy process that included interviewing stakeholders — staff, clients, board members and donors — conducting focus groups, and discussions among staff and board members. These interviews and discussions helped us focus in on the core values of our organization and the concepts we want people to associate with our work.

How are you honoring your history and heritage?

Our history and our heritage are the foundation of the services we offer today. Our almost two centuries of commitment to the community is a hallmark of our agency. As time passed though, people weren’t sure who our founders, John George Leake & John Watts, Jr. were. Our new name, logo and messages clarify our place in the community and make our organization easier to find and remember. Honoring our past, our new website has a section that showcases our extensive 192-year history, our tagline reflects our founding date, and we have named our campus and two programs after Leake and Watts.