Essaibi George to lead Big Sister organization

Annissa Essaibi George

Annissa Essaibi George (Jesse Costa/WBUR photo)

Annissa Essaibi George, a Dorchester native and former mayoral candidate, will start as president and CEO of Big Sister Boston, a nonprofit organization focused serving 2,500 women and girls in the Greater Boston area.

Essaibi George, a mother of four and a teacher, owns the Stitch House, a yarn shop on Dorchester Avenue. She was elected to one of the four at-large City Council positions in 2015. She gave up the seat to run for Mayor in 2021, and came in second behind fellow Councillor Michelle Wu.

Her first day at Big Sister is Nov. 28. She replaces Deb Re, who is leaving after 16 years in the job.

"Annissa has been a part of the fabric of the Boston community all her life," Re said in a statement. "From growing up in the city to being a teacher, City Councilor, and small business owner, she brings a wealth of lived experiences that will serve her well as the new CEO."

Re added that Essaibi George is "not new" to the nonprofit. "She has held match activities at her business, spoken about the importance of our work at our Annual Meeting and has also participated as a 'role' model in our Fashion Show," she said. "I know with her leading this organization, along with our phenomenal Big Sister team, the girls of Greater Boston will have new opportunities to thrive.”

Since the 2021 mayoral election, Essaibi George has gone back to the classroom and headed to Poland as part of an effort to aid Ukrainians. Earlier this year, as Boston Public Schools faced a teacher shortage, she filled in as a substitute a couple of days a week across the city. Before she was a city councillor, she spent 13 years teaching at East Boston High School.

Her journey to Poland, also earlier this year, involved assisting Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion of their country. She and her sister Sonia brought 26 hockey bags filled with supplies donated by Dorchester Youth Hockey, Boston University, the Bruins and Boston Fire.

Subscribe to the Dorchester Reporter