Activate Your Beauty Conference | Building Young Minds Inc. | Cedarmoore
GirlzTalk | Crotona International High School | Department of Health and Mental Hygiene | Fashion Institute of Technology | Fordham University | Grace Institute|High School of Fashion Industries | Hire Learners | Hofstra University | Kingsborough Community College | Millennium High School | New York University | Rise Up for Youth | Skidmore College | Spire & Co. | Stony Brook University | The Opportunity Network | “The Revolution” Conference | The Young Women’s Leadership School: Brooklyn | Trinity Baptist Church | Trinity College | Young Enterprising Sisters

Camarena Adelante Foundation
Laura B. Volger Foundation

“Maria truly made our students break out of their shells and think in a more positive light. She encouraged the ladies to ask important questions of themselves. I believe it was necessary for the ladies to hear that they are more than their flaws. If young women can learn lessons from each other instead of experiencing tough heartbreaking situations, it stops an unnecessary cycle of pain and suffering. In turn, it allows them to become their best selves. This will undoubtedly start a new trend of success, empowerment and kindness towards ourselves and others.”
-Assistant Dean, Hofstra University

“Simply put, Maria is always the most memorable person in the room. Her dedication to helping young women succeed, her drive to build the Embrace Her Legacy empire and the enthusiasm she has for executing her vision is unparalleled. Maria’s vibrant personality, warmth and transparent honesty made her a favorite speaker at The Revolution, our tri-state leadership conference for teen girls, and has made her an invaluable part of our sisterhood. As an author, women’s leadership advocate, executive producer and social entrepreneur, Maria is the perfect role model for what it looks like to walk in your purpose and build a legendary legacy. Her confidence, business savvy and desire to make a positive impact speak for themselves. I’m honored to call Maria a friend and a colleague as we work together to inspire girls to pursue their dreams.”
-Lauren Curiotto, Founder & Executive Director, Finding the Fabulous Inc.

“Between the annual Live Smart Series and Fordham’s Entrepreneurship Conference, I have been fortunate to hear over 250 speakers from many walks of life speak to young people. I can confidently say that out of all of them, I have never been as impacted as I have by Maria. Her presence is astounding and she truly captures the audience’s attention in a way I have never seen before. She perfectly translates her work into her speaking addresses and leaves the audience inspired and motivated, with a new perspective on themselves and their potential. I can’t speak highly enough of Maria and what she is doing with Embrace Her Legacy. She is a force on and off stage.”
-Emily Raleigh, Spire & Co & Fordham University

“THANK YOU, thank you. Wow. Jonelle literally could not stop telling me how absolutely amazing the event was and more importantly, what an incredible inspiration you were to our students. Thank you for all of your time, effort and resources. From what I heard, our students left empowered, inspired and ready to embrace their legacies.”
–Director, The Opportunity Network

“Everything you said coincided with what I was going through. Exactly the day before the event my “giant” was trying to crush my dreams and I didn’t know how to deal with it. Like I mentioned to you the day of the plenary, I really needed to hear everything you had to say, because it motivated me greatly.”
– Opp Net Fellow


“I hope that more young girls attend your program because I am positive this program will change them for the better, just as it did for me. I mean, my life is for the most part pretty much the same but I see slight changes in my behavior and I am sure I’ll remember your words and my life will take a turn down the road.”

“The program has helped me re-focus on my power and potential as a woman. I am now determined more than ever because I know that if I follow the strategies you taught us, I will make a difference.”

“I learned so much about the importance of forgiving my past and even though it is my story, its purpose is to find power in it and not to be put into a mindset of guilt and frustration. I have everything in my life to look forward to and you reminded me of that.” 

“I have become much more aware of the things I need to work on, whether it is how to love myself more or how to love others.”

“I actually become more open. Since the program, I could say that I met new friends and made connections because this program made me less afraid to be who I am and want to be, and to do more!”

“The program was actually better than what I expected because throughout the three/four weeks of the program, I followed many of the advices that Maria gave and was able to build better relationship with my friends and also myself.”