top of page

Welcome to New Mexico Women In Leadership

"We believe women who know their worth can stand for a better future".

Women In Leadership By The Numbers
Since 2019

19 State and Local Partners

346 Narcan Overdose Prevention Training 

78 One on One Peer Support Sessions

128 Parenting Classes 2023 - 2024

100 Tele-Echo Sister Circle Workshops

10,500 Meals Served to the Unhoused & Food Insecure

24 Trauma Informed Classes

462 Job Readiness Training Since

42 Financial Literacy Classes

6 Job Fairs inside Department of Corrections


WIL is an organization that aims to uplift, empower, and inspire women to develop self-advocacy skills in order to become leaders through personal and professional growth by providing access to leadership development and educational opportunities.


At Women In Leadership, we are a dedicated team committed to empowering returning citizens, especially BIPoC communities in New Mexico, to reintegrate into society and reclaim control of their lives. Our mission is firmly rooted in the belief that every person possesses the potential for Leadership, regardless of their past experiences. We envision a world where returning citizens are supported, respected, and provided with the resources they need to thrive as members and leaders of their communities.


Our team employs a holistic approach to address the multifaceted challenges faced by the returning citizens. We provide comprehensive support services, including mentorship, education, job training, counseling, and advocacy, tailored to the unique needs of each individual.


The following values reflect WIL's Leadership philosophy. These commitments drive all interactions among board, staff, participants, community members and their families.


  1. Empowerment: We believe in the inherent strength and resilience of every woman, empowering them to take control of their futures.

  2. Equality: We advocate for gender equality and strive to create inclusive environments where all women have the opportunity to succeed.

  3. Compassion: We approach our work with empathy and understanding, recognizing the importance of compassion in supporting women through their journey of reintegration.

  4. Community: We foster a sense of belonging and community among our participants, creating networks of support that extend beyond our programs.

  5. Education: We prioritize education as a catalyst for personal and professional growth, offering opportunities for learning and skill development.


Through our programs and initiatives, we have witnessed remarkable transformations in the lives of formerly incarcerated women. From gaining employment and pursuing higher education to becoming advocates for social change, our participants are breaking barriers and leading by example.

Program Highlights



Stacy Burleson,

Executive Director and Co-Founder

“I lost my son the first day I was sent to prison. It broke my heart and my spirit was darkened. And then 8 months later, I lost my mother. I couldn't fathom how I would survive another day.

I lost my son the first day I was sent to prison. It broke my heart and my spirit was darkened. And then 8 months later, I lost my mother. I couldn't fathom how I would survive another day.


It was through the heartache and pain that I found my purpose. I didn't want any other mother or daughter to feel as helpless as I had because of incarceration. That's when I knew Women In Leadership was needed.

Professional Headshot_McGee2021_edited.p

Carissa McGee,

Program Manager and Co-Founder

I was 17 years old when I first hit the prison compound; I was scared out of my mind. It took me years to learn that life is whatever you make it and if you want something, you have to work for it. ​

I wanted a life in which I helped as many young women as I could to avoid the pain and loss that comes with incarceration; not only physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Women In Leadership is a part of my legacy and I am a part of it."
Avatar 82


Program Evaluator


Daijah SmithDoula, CPSW, MHFAProject Coordinator 

I am a Mother, Full Spectrum Doula/ Birth Worker, DV/SA survivor, CPSW, MHFA, Kundalini Yoga Instructor, and a voice of our Ancestors.
I am the owner of Soul Ties Doula Svc LLC where I am your Down Doula Dai, Project Coordinator for Women In Leadership, and an Appointee of The Office of African American Affairs to the Maternal Mortality and Severe Morbidity Review Committee of New Mexico.
My past has many colors that I embrace and project into my life's work and into the future of others.
Let's Build Together".

Lexi Henderson,

Health & Life Coach

My name is Lexi Henderson, a health and life coach seeking out transformation in those looking for it.

My mission is to help my clients break through the obstacles that seem to be holding them back in life. Life's too short to be unhappy, unsure, or unfulfilled.

Let me help you learn and develop better ways to handle the issues that are standing in the way of your goals."
Screenshot_20211212-152247_Instagram (1)

Noelle Munoz, CPSW 

“ Hi, My name is Noelle Munoz. I was born and raised in Las Cruces and I am the Mother of six children and a Certified Peer Support Worker.

After spending fourteen years in the NM Dept of Corrections I  am driven to help those that haven't yet found their voice and aspire to be the change I want to see in the world".


bottom of page