Embrace Her Legacy Academy: Summer Institute for Young Women

“Build Your Confidence and Legacy Without Doubting Your Worthiness”




Calling all young women aged 14-19, it’s time to ignite your potential like never before. Our in-person program is your passport to social-emotional, personal, and leadership development, designed to empower and inspire. After five unforgettable years, we’re back in-person with a bang, and we can’t wait to embark on this journey with you!

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!

At the Embrace Her Legacy Academy, young women go on a remarkable journey from legacy girls and learn the tools to become legendary women!

Applications are now OPEN and we’re on the lookout for young women who shine with leadership potential and academic prowess. Bring your A-game and prepare to unleash your brilliance at the Embrace Her Legacy Academy!

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!

We’re more than just a program – we’re a movement. Our mission is simple yet powerful: to guide you in embracing your unique self, conquering self-doubt, and breaking free from negative thinking. Say goodbye to the pursuit of perfection and hello to the joy of 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!

Together, let’s kick self-doubt to the curb and unlock a world of endless possibilities. Join us as we embark on this incredible journey of self-discovery, empowerment, and sisterhood. The future is bright, and it’s yours for the taking!

Are you ready to seize it?



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 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 over 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!




  • Eligibility for our prestigious annual college scholarship upon successful completion of the program
  • Participate in our enriching workshops and inspiring Legend Meet Ups held throughout the year.
  • Enjoy our Legendary “Goodies and Gifts” Swag Bag filled with nourishing self-care products, luscious beauty essentials, empowerment journals, and other swag items generously sponsored by our esteemed program partners
  • Unlock the gateway to transformation with an EXCLUSIVE, Embrace Her Legacy Journal for FREE! 
    • Enjoy your own Embrace Her Legacy customized journals, designed to document your journey of growth and transformation with a heartfelt letter of encouragement from our founder inside the journal 
  • VIP Legendary Status: Become an Embrace Her Legacy VIP College & Social Media Ambassador
    • Elevate your journey to legendary status by becoming an Embrace Her Legacy College Ambassador where you gain access to exclusive opportunities for personal and professional growth, including a first look at VIP access to Embrace Her Legacy conferences, retreats, and more.  Also serve as a vital link between your school or organization and the empowering community of Embrace Her Legacy.
    • Join our league of extraordinary women showcased on our social media platforms and gain lifelong membership to our dynamic community. 
  • Exclusive Access to our Community of Legendary Women 
    • Engage with dynamic industry leaders, accomplished entrepreneurs, and influential figures, fostering invaluable connections and insights.
    • Exclusive access to personalized 1-on-1 Leadership and Mentorship Coaching Sessions with our esteemed founder.
  • Cultivate Success: Get Exclusive Access to the ‘Break Up with Your Inner Saboteur’ E-Workbook 
    • Each student receives our exclusive “Break Up with Your Inner Saboteur” E-Workbook, delving into essential topics such as confidence, worthiness, self-love, and gratitude, perfectly complementing the mastHERclass experience.
  • Lifetime Access to Embrace Her Legacy Online Classroom via Patreon 
    • Download our mastHERclasses and enjoy complimentary access to all our online mastHERclasses, ebooks, and more, nurturing continuous personal growth.
  • Become a Part of our Legends ONLY Discord Community Group 
    • Engage in vibrant community with other like-minded young women on discussions through our private text chat group, and gain access to a wealth of exclusive resources. Discover coveted internships, sought-after scholarships, exciting career openings, networking events, and enriching educational prospects tailored to empower your journey towards success. Don’t just dream it, embrace it with us. 
  • Join our exclusive Legends ONLY Email list
    • Gain priority access to a plethora of professional and personal development opportunities. Stay ahead of the curve with early notifications on internships, scholarships, career openings, networking events, and educational prospects



  • 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 understand the significance of creating a nurturing environment that fosters a healthy self-esteem in girls. That’s why our Summer Institute is designed to provide an affirming space where girls can thrive.

Throughout the program, we are committed to exposing our students to positive role models who are leaders in their respective industries. These guest instructors not only inspire our students but also offer valuable insights and mentorship opportunities.

For instance, previous editions of our program have featured esteemed guest speakers such as Dr. Nadia Lopez, an education guru and recipient of the Black Girls Rock Change Agent Award. Dr. Lopez’s passion for education and empowerment has left a lasting impact on our students. Additionally, we’ve had the privilege of hosting Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, a nationally renowned expert in financial literacy. 

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. Melendez 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. ​

Ms. Melendez is no stranger to activating the legacy girl to become a legendary woman.

In over a decade of her work, she’s graced dozens of stages nationwide including her acclaimed Tedx Talk which has inspired thousands worldwide and has delivered more than hundreds of lectures reaching audiences locally, nationally and internationally. Maximizing her ability to connect with the pain points of diverse audiences as she’s shared the same lived experiences of the young women she serves, she manages to drive impactful change through not just motivation but she provokes the catalyst to everlasting change in the lives of those who attend her mastHERclasses. From Brooklyn to South Africa, her work through Embrace Her Legacy has changed lives forever. 

Her work is a global force with features in Forbes, ESSENCE, Latina and recipient of several notable accolades after leaving her high-profile career in the music business to foster personal development in young women worldwide. This experience promises to be nothing short of extraordinary. Our mission is clear: to champion Excellence Over Perfection and instill a spirit of boldness and courage in each participant.




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.



Embrace Her Legacy provides our program participants exclusive access to a community of legendary women and men who generously donate their time to volunteer and serve as inspirational role models for the young women of Embrace Her Legacy.

They are the heartbeat of our Embrace Her Legacy Academy, contributing as volunteer guest speakers. They are industry experts in their respective careers and graciously share their wisdom with our students on a wide range of topics, including financial literacy, beauty, confidence, leadership, and more.

These remarkable individuals serve as shining examples for our young women to see people who look like them succeeding in various careers and embracing their legacy. They embody the spirit of empowerment and serve as positive representations of what’s possible when passion, dedication, and resilience come together. These are our Legendary Women and Men! 


  • “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)” + Build My Millionaire Mindset 
    • Objective: Learn our “goals framework” and strategies to define, set, and achieve personal and professional goals.
    • Followed by a workshop on building a millionaire mindset and real estate investments. 
  • “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” + “Bold and Beautiful” 
    • Objective: Discuss financial literacy topics – credit, debt, savings, earnings, student loans.
    • Followed by a workshop on skincare and make-up/beauty routines. 
  • “Negotiate Like a Boss” + “The Legendary Panel”
    • Objective: Learn graduate-level negotiation skills and engage in a resume-building workshop.
    • Followed by a panel featuring previous Embrace Her Legacy Academy legends
  • “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: $875*
*Full and Partial need-based and merit-based scholarships available*




New York, NY (To protect our students, only program participants receive our program location address) 


The total program tuition cost is $875. Full-ride scholarships WERE available on a first-come, first-serve basis to aid with program tuition costs, there are no more full scholarships available only partial scholarships to aid with tuitionStudents will have to submit a short essay and a copy of the latest report card to qualify for a partial 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.