Our Founder

As the founder & CEO of Embrace Her Legacy Global Empowerment Enterprises, “the OG Mentor”, social entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author of Take the Limits Off Your Legacy, producer, and women’s leadership advocate– Maria I. Melendez has embraced her mission of empowering others to live a life that embraces a limitless legacy. After leaving her high-profile career in the music business to pursue her purpose of empowering others to live life in purpose, give birth to their dreams and define their legacy, Maria (who has been deemed by clients and peers as your personal “Goals Girlfriend”) has proven that she is the essence of living a purpose and legacy driven life in order to inspire others to follow suit. Featured in the ESSENCE magazine, Latina.com, Heartandsoul.com and recipient of several notable accolades, she is an influential leader whose faith, zealous drive, experience, framework, story and impact are key to the leadership development in women and girls around the world. Her contemporary style of transparency, authenticity, wit, humor and positivity are key to in her message of transformation. 

Maria launched Embrace Her Legacy Global Empowerment Enterprises in 2012. Since then Maria has transformed the brand from a women’s network to an empowerment organization that offers an online learning center, enrichment programs, personal development courses, tailored events, and community to inspire millennial women and girls to achieve a purpose-driven legacy. She is the creator and lead trainer for the Embrace Her Legacy Academy: NYC Institute for Girls, host of the Embrace Her Legacy podcast and the curator of our online courses, coaching services and brand development services. Maria has recently launched The Embrace Her Legacy Foundation Inc dedicated to mentoring and educating underserved young women across the globe. 

Watch Her in Action Below: 

“Embrace Her Legacy is about helping give birth to the gifts that have already been placed inside of us so we can become the women we have been created to be so we can honor what we have been created to do. I use my personal story of overcoming personal challenges to now live in my purpose to help others live out their own legacy. I do that by coaching, motivating and educating my audience with distinct faith, personal development and success principles.” 

Raised in Brooklyn, Maria successfully achieved her goals while going against the odds. She excelled as a scholar and graduated Cum Laude from Hofstra University with a marketing degree. It was during her time at Hofstra University where Maria grew an infinite passion of empowering others, especially women. She had already overcome her own struggles as an Afro-Latina growing up in the inner city. She realized that had it not been for her faith, mentors and education that she would not have been privileged with all the opportunities that came her way. Maria set out on a mission of leading other young women to victoriously do as she did. During her senior year of college, Maria landed an internship which led to a coveted position at Warner Music Group where she created and managed ground-breaking marketing campaigns for artists including Jay-Z, Toni Braxton, T.I., Trey Songz, and others. Maria’s marketing and promotion prowess only flourished and essentially fueled her life-long passion of starting her own company. After facing her own fears, she resigned from Warner Music Group to launch Embrace Her Legacy so she could live in her purpose. Maria continues to soar as a leader and advocate for empowering women and girls to realize their dreams.

For booking Maria I. Melendez for speaking engagements, keynote speeches or empowerment workshops, please fill out our speaker request form here. 

Hear her share a little about the history behind Embrace Her Legacy: