Our Mission 

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.

Our Team


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.


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.

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.

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Carissa McGee,

Program Manager and Co-Founder

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Aisha Baloo, MPH (Navajo/Dine)
Program Evaluator

I am a trained epidemiologist with experience overseeing community health-related evaluation activities and developing reliable & valid mixed method measurement tools. I believe in the mission of  WIL and am passionate about measuring the true, personal & professional impact of WIL. 
Overall, my evaluation approach is community-driven and inclusive, ensuring that evaluation findings are easy to understand.
In my spare time, I like to weight-lift, crochet, binge-watch Anime TV shows, and spend time with my cats & significant other.

I am the owner of Soul Ties Doula SVC where I am Certified Down Doula Dai, a co-owner of So Soul Deep, and also the Administrative Assistant for Black Mental Health Coalition and Women In Leadership.

My past has many colors but the key to going through troubled times is to grow through them. I have dreams of creating a better and more peaceful environment for all walks of life, but in order to do so, we must start with our women.

Let's build greatness together!

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Daijah Smith,

Administrative Assistant


Zahra Bundrage,

Education Specialist

I am the Education Specialist at Women in Leadership. Currently I'm designing and teaching curricula within the Women’s Correctional facilities. With over ten years of experience as a school teacher and a college instructor, My dedication has always been teaching and designing unique content and curriculum in the classroom.


I hold an undergraduate in TESOL with a minor in Language Arts and a Master’s in Literature. I'm currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership. One of my passions is journalism and I have an Arts and Culture column in The Paper. In my spare time, I love to travel with my family and read books. (https://abq.news/author/zahra/)