BGCD To Host 30th Annual New England Women’s Leadership Awards Chaired by eternalHealth Founder and CEO Pooja Ika

Special to the Sun

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester (BGCD) has named Pooja Ika as this year’s New England Women’s Leadership Awards (NEWLA) Event Chair.

Pooja Ika is the founder and CEO of eternalHealth. At the age of 25, she is the youngest woman to launch a new Medicare Advantage Health Plan in the United States. A 2019 Babson College graduate, Pooja founded eternalHealth to deliver high quality, affordable care to her fellow Massachusetts residents. Committed to making healthcare simple and understandable for all, eternalHealth is built on trust, transparency, and integrity. Pooja has been working tirelessly to increase healthcare accessibility, while also acting as an advocate and educator for her members. Driven to make eternalHealth a catalyst for change in the health insurance industry, Pooja is not scared to tackle what some might call impossible.

“I am excited and grateful to be the NEWLA Chair this year, as myself and the women we get to honor possess a shared mindset that nothing is impossible,” said Ika. “Through NEWLA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester has been honoring brilliant and passionate women for the last 30 years. As this year’s Chair I look forward to meeting some of these inspirational women who, alongside the Club, have empowered youth to recognize that hard work, determination, and a big dream leads to success.”

“Pooja’s passion and commitment to making a positive difference is admirable and inspirational to our youth,” said Bob Scannell, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester. “We are so honored to have Pooja as this year’s NEWLA Chair. She understands the importance of having positive role models and resonates with the mission of our Clubs, which is to welcome and connect young people and families to opportunities that embrace diversity, nurture growth and inspire success. Pooja’s dedication to change will encourage us all as we welcome her to join an incredible group of leaders who have been instrumental in enacting change in our city over the past 30 years.”

The New England Women’s Leadership Awards, hosted by Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary of recognizing and honoring remarkable women who meet challenges with confidence, persistence and compassion. NEWLA was among the first events of its kind in the Boston area, and so far has recognized 134 outstanding women. Emmy Award-winning WBZ-TV news anchor, Lisa Hughes, will emcee this special evening and shine a light on this year’s honorees and their contributions. Lisa, Pooja, and our honorees are ideal role models and mentors for Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester’s young members, inspiring them to dream big, work hard and succeed. NEWLA will take place on May 15, 2023, at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. Tickets can be purchased at

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester is dedicated to making a positive impact on youth and families in our community. Inside our three clubhouses, we are a place for Dorchester’s young people to learn, explore talents, play and make friends. Today, as always, our members have access to 200+ activities for just $5 a year. Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester serves over 4,000 children between the ages of two months and 18 years each year. During the school year, we serve approximately 250 meals every weekday. For more information:

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