Embrace Her Legacy Academy: Virtual Fall Institute

We hope that you are safe and taking the necessary precautionary measures during these trying times. We have decided to reschedule our flagship summer program to begin in the Fall of 2020, when schools re-open, as a VIRTUAL after-school program. Our new program dates have been listed below. The program will take place over 10-weeks in the Fall where we will “meet” virtually once a week and students will have pre-course work prior to each class. Our live sessions will take place during Eastern Standard Times listed below. If you have any questions, please contact us directly at hello@embraceherlegacy.com. Thank you for your patience with us during this time. 

Our Embrace Her Legacy Academy is a personal development and leadership development program offered to high-school girls ages 14-19. Since our program is now virtual, students can hail from any part of the country. The institute is targeted to girls who demonstrate strong leadership and academic ability. With small cohorts of 10-15 students, we equip these young women with the tools needed to achieve success in self-confidence, career, education and leadership.

Our goal is to ignite a powerful and emotionally healthy relationship with self while using that as the foundation to realize personal and professional goals. Because of our intimate group size, each student gets the individualized attention that she deserves in a psychologically safe space.


We will focus on the elevation and transformation of:

  • Your self-image
  • Your confidence
  • Your purpose and personal mission 
  • Your time-management skills 
  • Your ability to think positively 
  • Your relationship with yourself and others
  • Your education, career and lifestyle goals 
  • Your ability to confidently talk about your strengths 

​Our curriculum is an intensive series of personal development and leadership development classes virtually offered over 10-weeks in the Fall. The program also offers students the opportunity to enhance their professional networks by connecting students to esteemed professional women and men who will serve as guest instructors for select classes.

Students will get to learn how to say “good-bye” to living with fear, not feeling good enough, or being around negative people who don’t understand you. The program has been almost unanimously voted as a “life-changing experience” from program graduates. ​Our goal is for every girl to learn to defeat her “inner saboteur” and live out a purpose-driven legacy. 

Got questions? Contact us at: hello@embraceherlegacy.com 



A hand-selected, diverse group of notable professional women and men will serve as guest instructors. Mentorship is one of our core values. Our guest instructors not only extend their valuable knowledge and experience but also make themselves available to develop mentorship relationships with students.  

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, Maria makes herself available to help students through the college and career readiness process along with personal development coaching sessions. She has dedicated her life to personally mentoring young women in need of support and guidance. ​Students with a mentor are: 130% more likely to hold leadership positions + 55% more likely to enroll in college. 


Our environment is one of sisterhood dedicated to giving young women the opportunity to connect. We have a proven track record of instilling confidence in young women during the challenging teenage years where parents may be encountering distance from teens.

Low self-esteem in teenage girls is a problem. 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way (including their looks, performance in school, and relationships with friends and family members).

The challenges in self-esteem grow significantly during teenage years for girls especially. This gender gap, forming in adolescence, occurs as boys tend to have higher self-esteem than girls since girls are more vulnerable to the exposure of ongoing and digitally enhanced “beauty standard” messages that are proliferated throughout the media.

Furthermore, if a girl has experienced being raised in a critical environment, been verbally or physically abused, ignored, or teased, met with unrealistic expectations of constant perfectionism or has been considered unattractive by peers then it is more than likely that she will suffer from low self-esteem.

Once the low self-esteem exists, subsequent behaviors that can occur are depression, anxiety, anger, hostility, self-deprecation, negative or low expectations, risk-taking, substance use, avoidance and distrust in relationships, low expectations, and fear of change.

As a result:

  • 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking, or drinking when feeling bad about themselves (Compared to 25% of girls with high self-esteem). 
  • 25% of teen girls with low self-esteem practice disordered eating, such as starving themselves, refusing to eat, or over-eating and throwing up when feeling bad about themselves (Compared to 7% of girls with high self-esteem). 
  • 25% of teen girls with low self-esteem resort to injuring themselves on purpose or cutting when feeling bad about themselves (Compared to 4% of girls with high self-esteem)

Our workshops and programs, including our Embrace Her Legacy Academy, seek to help solve the problem of low self-esteem and a negative relationship with self in teenage girls. Our program seeks to eradicate these statistics. The content of our program covers a variety of issues young women are confronted with from emotional wellness to setting healthy boundaries to choosing a desirable career path.

Students Get To: 

  • Identify and manage your “inner saboteur” 
  • Learn how to design and build your best life
  • Identify internal struggles and negative self-talk to increase emotional strength
  • Build on their worthiness, validation, and self-acceptance 
  • Receive recommendation letters for college applications, internships & career opportunities
  • Serve as an ambassador of our organization at your school 
  • Gain the opportunity to participate in local, national and international program initiatives 
  • Qualify for an internship with Embrace Her Legacy 
  • Gain access to professional mentorship by our founder and other esteemed professionals in our network.
  • Master negotiation strategies: We teach you how to negotiate like a boss 
  • Learn how to be comfortable in your own skin by embracing the art of telling your story
  • Career development secrets
  • Effective goal-setting practices
  • Build confidence and high self-esteem
  • Create healthy relationships with others and implement boundaries 
  • Learn financial success tips 
  • Learn time-management techniques 
  • Meet with girls who are motivated and driven like you
  • Learn personal beauty and style tips to embrace individualized style
  • Meet women and men who’ve been through what you’re going through and can help you get where you want to go
  • Overcome the internal fears and mental roadblocks that stand in the way of you and your desired career and education goals

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




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!


  • Break Up With Your Inner Saboteur – Focuses on establishing a healthy relationship with yourself, elevating your confidence, and overcoming negative self-talk.  
  • How To Face Your Fears to Win the Battlefield in Your Mind – Focuses on identifying fear and negative thinking
  • The 7 Major Keys to Slaying Your Goals (Vision Board MastHERclass) – Students will engage in proven strategies to effectively define, set, and achieve personal and professional goals. 
  • Developing a Dope Tribe  – Students will learn keys to developing meaningful personal and professional relationships, establish healthy boundaries, networking skills, and how to identify signs of toxic relationships.
  • Annual “Embrace Your Legacy” Panel Discussion – A panel discussion and networking workshop with several esteemed professional women and men on success, career, personal mission, and confidence.
  • The Age of the Selfie: Real Talk About Confidence & Your Personal Brand in a Digital Age – Students learn how to embrace healthy self-esteem while dealing with the pressures of social media and cyberbullying while learning the dos and don’ts of using social media, including personal branding strategies. 
  • Girl Boss 101 – We “spill the tea” on curating a successful career as an empowered female leader.
  • Negotiate Like a Boss – It’s never too early to learn how to negotiate! 
  • Get Your Money Right – Financial literacy 101 
  • The Laws of Leadership –  Strategic leadership principles for students to learn how to lead their lives, organizations, and teams.
  • Embrace Your Beauty and Dress for the Life You Want – Our popular beauty and style coaching class for students to embrace individual style and healthy self-care routines. 

*Classes subject to change.


  • Session 1: Wed. Oct 14th – 5pm – 7pm EST
  • Session 2: Wed. Oct 21st – 5pm – 7pm EST
  • Session 3: Wed. Oct 28th – 5pm – 7pm EST
  • Session 4: Wed. Nov. 4th – 5pm – 7pm EST
  • Session 5: Thurs. Nov 12th – 5pm – 7pm EST
  • Session 6: Wed. Nov 18th – 5pm – 7pm EST
  • Session 7: Tues. Nov 24th – 5pm – 7pm EST
  • Session 8: Wed. Dec 2nd – 5pm – 7pm EST
  • Session 9: Wed. Dec 9th – 5pm – 7pm EST
  • Session 10: Wed. Dec 16th – 5pm – 7pm EST


Wed. Sept. 30th, 2020 (by 11:59pm EST)


Individual tuition fee: $350.00 (Full and Partial Scholarships available)


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 staff members will reach out via email to applicants to set-up a phone or virtual interview or request any additional information.

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.


Please note that once your tuition is received, your tuition is non-refundable. Please note that we highly encourage students to apply as soon as possible as acceptances are on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Full-ride and partial scholarships are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students will have to submit a short essay and copy of the latest report card to qualify for a scholarship.
***Scholarship Update: We have received an overwhelming response of scholarship applicants, and all full-ride scholarships have been given to qualifying candidates as of September 18th. We’re truly sorry for any inconvenience, partial scholarships are still available.