top of page

International Award Winning Author, Marie Elena Cortés, is an experienced and passionate motivational speaker with over twenty-four years of experience. Marie Elena is from Torrance, California, but grew up undocumented in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. She came back to the USA at age 16 to learn to speak English and conquered more than just the language. In 1996, she became a Bilingual and ESL Teacher serving her community by beautifying schools with art projects and tutoring underprivileged students in Houston, Texas.

In 2005, Elena created a writing club titled Kids Write to Know where she has presented to over 200,000 students, parents, educators, and businesses at schools, libraries, churches, festivals, and conferences across the USA and Mexico. Attendees enjoy Cortes' storytelling, poetry and a powerful presentations that invite her audiences to discover the power of thinking. Her messages are about success, personal growth, culture, education and how to live wisely the American Dream!

Cortes has published two children’s books: My Annoying Little Brother and My First Classroom. Her latest book, a chapter book for youth, Neglected by Two Countries, has received numerous awards at the International Latino Book Awards (2014) and the Books into Movies Award (2015).

In 2018, Marie Elena had the fight of her life battling breast cancer. She won the battle and is a breast cancer survivor and lives life in FULL BLOOM! She is unstoppable and volunteers with HEALING HANDS FOR KIDS INTERNATIONAL, as a KIDS SUNSHINE AMBASSADOR. Her mission is to radiate positivism through art, writing and by making special trips with children (and their parents) who are battling different health challenges or emotional crises.

Marie Elena now lives in Englewood, Colorado, working as National Educational Consultant for Estrellita, Inc. Stay connected via her YouTube 

channel called SHINE WITH MARIE & MARK…a motivational podcast that she directs with her son, Mark Sedgwick. Together they share stories that motivate adults and our youth to be a light in the world.

SHINE...and brighten someone's day with your spark!

* To book or reserve a date please email her at: or text (832) 388-8218

Special thanks to Eric Chase, for his voice on this video created by Carlos Ruiz.


bottom of page