Our Founder


Maria I. Melendez, the visionary behind Embrace Her Legacy, is more than just a founder and CEO; she’s a catalyst for change. With a multifaceted role as a women and girls leadership advocate, speaker, author, mentor, podcast host, and brand strategist, Maria is on a mission to empower individuals to craft lives that leave an indelible mark on the world.

Maria’s influence extends far beyond her organization, with features in prestigious publications such as FORBES, ESSENCE magazine, and Latina.com, coupled with recognition through various accolades. Her transformative impact is not only evident in her extensive speaking engagements, surpassing 100 talks, but also in her acclaimed TEDx talk titled “A Time to Heal.”

Stepping away from a high-profile career in the music business, Maria redirected her trajectory to fulfill her purpose of educating and transforming the lives of women and girls. Referred to affectionately by clients and peers as the “Inspirational Homegirl,” Maria embodies the essence of leading a purpose-driven life, inspiring others to do the same.

Hailing proudly from Brooklyn, NY, and of Afro-Latin descent, Maria holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Hofstra University and earned her Executive Master’s of Public Administration from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Her contemporary approach blends faith, transparency, authenticity, wit, humor, and positivity, creating a powerful message of transformation that resonates globally. Maria I. Melendez is not just a leader; she’s a force, shaping the narrative of personal and leadership development for women and girls around the world.

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

Watch Her in Action Below: