Embrace Her Legacy Academy: National Institute for Young Women

“Build Your Confidence and Legacy Without Doubting Your Worthiness”



Ready to join the Embrace Her Legacy Academy: National Summer Institute 2024? Our virtual program is like a power-up for young women aged 14-19, focusing on social-emotional, personal, and leadership development. We’re looking for girls who shine with leadership potential and academic prowess and who could use some motivation in building up your confidence level!

In our cohorts of 10-15 students, we’re equipping these young ladies with the ultimate toolkit for success. Think self-confidence, personal growth, career savvy, educational excellence, and leadership skills – we’ve got it all covered! Applications are open to young women nationwide, so bring your A-game!

At the Embrace Her Legacy Academy, we’re all about guiding young women to embrace their unique selves, conquer self-doubt, break free from negative thinking, and embrace authenticity. We’re all about empowering young women to embrace their quirks and kick self-doubt to the curb. Say goodbye to negative thinking and the pursuit of perfection – we’re here to boost your self-esteem and unlock a world of educational and professional opportunities!

Our aim? To boost self-esteem and open doors to endless educational and professional opportunities.

Our mission? To help you build a solid, kick-butt relationship with yourself, because that’s the key to unlocking your personal and professional dreams. Plus, with our intimate group setting, you’ll get all the personalized attention you need in a space that’s as safe as your favorite blanket fort. Let’s make magic happen together!




Get ready to transform your self-image, boost your confidence, and rock your personal mission like a boss!

Our curriculum isn’t just any old series of classes – it’s like a turbocharged engine for your personal development and leadership skills. We’re inviting you to apply to our 2-week summer enrichment program and get ready for a journey that’ll leave you feeling like the queen that you are!

Oh, and did we mention? You’ll have the chance to rub elbows (virtually, of course) with industry leaders who’ll drop some serious wisdom as guest instructors. Talk about building your professional network like a pro!

Additionally, all of our program legends qualify for our annual college scholarship which is only available for our program graduates.

Say “goodbye” to fear, self-doubt, and those negative vibes dragging you down. Our program isn’t just another program – it’s a life-changing experience, endorsed by our amazing graduates, who we call “legends”. F
or close to a decade now, we’ve delivered a transformational experience that young women look back on as the moment everything shifted, as the catalyst that propelled them towards their destined greatness.

We’re all about helping you kick your inner saboteur to the curb and unleash your purpose-driven legacy on the world.

Got questions? Shoot us an email at hello@embraceherlegacy.com and let’s chat about how we can help you become the ultimate powerhouse you were meant to be! If not, read on below and submit your application!







By understanding the importance of having an affirming environment for cultivating a healthy self-esteem for girls, Embrace Her Legacy intentionally exposes our students to positive role-models who are industry leaders throughout the program who serve as guest instructors providing inspiration, insight and mentorship opportunities. For example, some former guest speakers who have participated in our programming include education guru and Black Girls Rock Change Agent Award recipient Dr. Nadia Lopez, and nationally renowned financial-literacy expert, Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche.

All students in our program also gain the opportunity to be personally mentored by our founder and lead instructor of our programs, Maria I. Melendez.

1 in 4 female students report that their greatest challenges in attending college are confidence, motivation, or support.
Therefore, Ms. Maria makes herself available to help students through the college and career readiness process along with personal development coaching. She has dedicated her life to personally mentoring young women in need of support and guidance. ​



  • Sisterhood & Community: We aspire to foster a sisterhood within our Embrace Her Legacy Academy for young women this year. Alongside our transformational endeavors, our aim is for them to nurture a vibrant community where mutual support and assistance thrive among our future legends.
  • Understanding of Perfectionism vs. Authenticity – Legends will gain understanding of shame, vulnerability, worthiness and perfectionism in order to adapt a healthier self-concept and relationship with self. Our Legends will learn to embrace the power in vulnerability and authenticity while relinquishing the pressures of perfectionism in order to elevate self-esteem, confidence and self-compassion.
  • Courageous Fear Mastery: Through a new perspective on fear, legends will develop the courage to create actionable plans to conquer their fears, enabling them to boldly pursue their goals with resilience and determination.
  • Dismantle Negative Thought Patterns: Legends will learn to identify negative-thought patterns (their “inner saboteur”), build endurance against those negative thought-patterns and replace those thoughts with new, effective thought-patterns.
  • Abundance Mindset Implementation: Armed with tools to adopt a positive abundance mindset and dismantle scarcity thinking, participants will leave equipped to embrace their journey with optimism, celebrate their progress, and confidently navigate any desired changes in their lives, believing in their unstoppable potential.
  • Confidence Building: Legends will gain a strong self-awareness and tools to build self-confidence and self-worth while learning how to adapt behaviors that lead to the development of a positive self-concept in order to communicate and interact positively with self.
  • Actionable Goal Achievement: Legends will gain actionable items they can apply immediately to their goal-setting endeavors, empowering them to take tangible steps towards their aspirations.




At Embrace Her Legacy, we’re all about building a community of sisterhood and empowerment for young women like you. We know that teenage years can be tough, and sometimes, it feels like you’re navigating a maze all on your own. That’s why we’re here to offer you a space where you can connect, grow, and flourish.


Let’s talk about confidence – or the lack thereof. Did you know that 7 out of 10 girls don’t feel good enough? Whether it’s their appearance, school performance, or relationships, many young women struggle with self-esteem during their teenage years. And let’s face it, the pressure only intensifies as we’re bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards and filtered images on social media.


Speaking of social media, it’s no secret that it can have a major impact on how we see ourselves. The stats don’t lie – hospital admissions for self-inflicted harm among teenage girls have skyrocketed since 2011, with suicide rates on the rise too. It’s clear that the digital age has brought new challenges for Generation Z, and we’re here to help you navigate them.


But it’s not just about social media – your environment plays a huge role too. Whether you’ve faced criticism, abuse, unrealistic expectations, or peer pressure, these experiences can take a toll on your self-esteem and mental health.


That’s where we come in. At the Embrace Her Legacy Academy, we’re committed to providing you with the tools, resources, and positive role models you need to thrive. From our supportive community to our empowering programs, we’re here to help you build and protect your self-esteem, no matter what life throws your way.


So why wait? Join us and take the first step towards embracing your legacy – because you deserve to shine, just the way you are.


In our current climate, it’s more important than ever to assure that there are tools, resources, positive role-models, programs and content to aid with the overwhelming demand to build and protect the overall self-esteem and mental/emotional health of young women of color, and that’s exactly what we do at Embrace Her Legacy. 

We’re committed to increasing self-confidence, social-emotional development and self-worth before anything else, while always striving to achieve confident leadership ability and emotional intelligence for millennial women and Gen Z girls of color. 


We use written assignments, lectures, journaling, affirmations, experiential learning, storytelling, and coaching techniques to empower, educate, and equip students. Each session will conclude with custom action-steps for students to actively engage in their overall personal development throughout the course. ​





Our program surveys indicate that:

  • 85% of our students report an increase of emotional/mental wellness and 75% report being better able to manage negative emotions.
  • 100% report improved academic skills. The benefit here is that more young women can achieve academic and educational goals
  • 88% report increase in overall self-confidence. This indicates that young women who complete our program are  more likely to become productive citizens, take on leadership roles and achieve their lifestyle, education and career goals. Our program is one to cultivate a generation of whole, educated and purpose-driven leaders in our communities.



The Embrace Her Legacy Collective is our community of successful, legacy-driven women and men who have donated their time to volunteer and serve as inspirational role models for the young women of Embrace Her Legacy. These women and men take part in our Embrace Her Legacy Academy as volunteer guest speakers. They are industry experts in their respective careers and take the time to speak with our students on topics varying from financial literacy, beauty, confidence, leadership, and more. These women and men serve as positive representations for our young women to see people who look like them succeeding in different careers and embracing their legacy. These are OUR Legacy Makers!


  • “I Am Enough! Break Up With Your Inner Saboteur” MastHERClass 
    • Objective: Establish a healthy self-relationship, embracing vulnerability, and relinquishing perfectionism.
    • Key Focus Areas: Elevate confidence, overcome negative self-talk by identifying and addressing inner self-sabotaging voices.
  • “Win the Battle in Your Mind: Dismantling Fear, Anxiety,” and The Strong “Black Woman” Stereotype
    • Objective: Identify and dismantle negative thought patterns.
    • Workshop addressing the “strong Black woman” stereotype, unlearning misconceived strength, and its impact on emotional wellness and legacy.
  • “Slaying My Goals (Vision Board MastHERclass)” + “Steps to Starting a Business”
    • Objective: Learn our “goals framework” and strategies to define, set, and achieve personal and professional goals.
    • Followed by a workshop on the initial steps to building a business.
  • “Squad Goals: Developing PowHERful Relationships and Embracing the Power of Forgiveness” 
    • Objective: Develop meaningful personal and professional relationships, establish healthy boundaries, and identify signs of toxic relationships.
    • Highlight the power of forgiveness for emotional freedom.
  • Annual “Embrace Her Legacy” Panel Discussion
    • Objective: A panel discussion and networking workshop with esteemed professional women.
    • Topics: Success, career, personal mission, and confidence.
  • “Keeping it REEL: Cultivating a Healthy Relationship with Social Media + Building Your Brand Online”
    • Objective: Embrace healthy self-esteem amidst social media pressures taught by esteemed social media influencer 
    • Learn do’s and don’ts of social media, personal branding strategies, and building an online presence.
  • “Financial Literacy 101: Getting Your Money Right” + “The Legendary Panel”
    • Objective: Discuss financial literacy topics – credit, debt, savings, earnings, student loans.
    • Followed by a panel featuring previous Embrace Her Legacy Academy legends.
  • “Negotiate Like a Boss” + “Build Your Resume Like a Boss Workshop”
    • Objective: Learn graduate-level negotiation skills and engage in a resume-building workshop.
  • “Laws of Becoming a Fierce Leader”
    • Objective: Teach strategic leadership principles for leading lives, organizations, and teams.
  • “Girl Boss 101: Becoming the CEO of Your Life & Career as a Young Professional Queen”  
    • Objective: Empower students to become the CEOs of their careers and lives.
    • Highlight common mistakes in career development for a proactive approach.

*Classes subject to change.


  • Session 1: Mon. July 8th  – 10:30am – 2:30pm EST
  • Session 2: Tues. July 9th – 10:30am – 2:30pm EST
  • Session 3: Wed. July 10th – 10:30am – 2:30pm EST
  • Session 4: Thurs. July 11th– 10:30am – 2:30pm EST
  • Session 5: Fri. July 12th – 10:30am – 2:30pm EST
  • Session 6: Mon. July 15th – 10:30am – 2:30pm EST
  • Session 7: Tues. July 16th – 10:30am – 2:30pm EST
  • Session 8: Wed. July 17th – 10:30am – 2:30pm EST
  • Session 9: Thurs. July 18th– 10:30am – 2:30pm EST
  • Session 10: Fri. July 219th – 10:30am – 2:30pm EST


Individual tuition fee for each student to participate in the program: $450.00*
*Full and Partial need-based and merit-based scholarships available*


Apply for the program here. 


Fri. May 31st, 2024 (11:59PM EST) 


Virtual via our Zoom classroom.  


The total program tuition cost is $450. Full-ride and partial scholarships are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to aid with program tuition costs. Students will have to submit a short essay and a copy of the latest report card to qualify for a scholarship. It is highly recommended for students interested in applying for scholarships to aid with program tuition costs to apply sooner than later. Program tuition scholarships are both need-based and merit based. 


We’re looking for young women (ages 14-19) who possess the following criteria to apply for the program:

  • Strong academic GPA
  • Possesses leadership qualities and potential
  • Demonstrated communication skills
  • Success and career-driven
  • Passionate about empowering women and girls/gender-equity 
  • Involved in academic or social organizations
  • Previous leadership or teamwork experience a plus
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Goal-oriented
  • Self-motivated
  • Positive attitude


In order to be considered for the program, all interested applicants must complete the application form below. (You can start and resume the application at your convenience). Once the applicant submits her application, one of our dream team members will reach out via email to applicants to schedule a virtual interview. 

Following the virtual interview, a final decision of the applicant’s status will be made and she will be notified via email whether she has been accepted to the program. Once accepted into the program, the applicant has (14) days from the date of receiving their acceptance letter to provide her tuition payment and the signed parent/guardian consent form in order to secure her spot in the program. The tuition invoice will be sent via email and can be paid via debit/credit card or check written out to The Embrace Her Legacy Foundation Inc. 

All accepted applicants, MUST submit our signed Parent/Guardian consent form upon acceptance into the program (unless 18 years or older). The form will be attached to the acceptance email.


Once your tuition payment is remitted, your tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable. We highly encourage students to apply as soon as possible as acceptances are on a first-come, first-serve basis.