Pooja Palimar is a Texas native, born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. As a first-generation American, both parents having immigrated from India, Pooja has always been interested in embracing cultures, providing access to education, travelling for the purposes of understanding, and appreciating the arts through performing. Pooja attended Trinity University for a Bachelor in Chemistry and graduated from the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, with a Master in Public Health concentrating on Healthcare Administration and Management.
Pooja’s early career in 2007, led her to work with the Centers for Disease Control with the Emergency Preparedness and Response teams, where she was able to support disaster relief efforts. She worked closely with the U.S. Public Health Service in distributing services before pausing to create and support her beautiful family. In 2015, she began working for a cultural exchange program supported by the U.S. Department of State and quickly became a Spokeswoman and Cultural Ambassador for the au pair program. After traveling the world and working with underserved populations, internationally, Pooja moved to education empowerment with a Directorship at a fertility clinic, specializing in third-party reproduction. Shortly afterward, she oversaw a number of fertility clinics in South Texas as the Director of Operations. Her passion in education and commitment to servicing her community led her to Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children as a grant writer and development coordinator, helping to raise funds for the listening and spoken language curriculum the school is known for.
Her heart has always been deeply rooted in honoring communities and serving those around her. Apart from her contributions to Make-A-Wish Foundation, Easter Seals, disaster relief organizations, Ambassador for Kids’ First international, and other smaller community organizations, Pooja is a devoted mother to her three children and a supportive wife to her husband, Dr. Satya Rao. Pooja has been a member of the Junior League of San Antonio and her league career has provided her with multiple opportunities to engage with different aspects of the organization as well as impactful engagement with the community. Her experiences with Girls, Inc. as a Science Camp Counselor, years of service with fundraising, and now the lead for the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Taskforce and R&D Committee, have helped hone her leadership skills and made her a welcoming face in the community.
As she continues to straddle both her Indian Heritage and American privilege, Pooja would like to continue her path to becoming a humble humanitarian, lifting those around her and expanding her reach. The Clarity Child Guidance Center is the only nonprofit mental health treatment center for children in South Texas, and as a huge advocate for mental health and wellness, Pooja Palimar, MPH is honored to represent the Junior League as a Trailblazer for such a worthy cause.