Volunteering can be a great way to get out into the community, try new things and meet new people. But did you know it can also bring you closer together with a loved one? For Joan Farahmand and her daughter Rosemary, volunteering for Boston Partners in Education isn’t just a way to give back – it’s another way to connect.

Rosemary Farahmand (left) and Joan Farahmand (right)

Rosemary Farahmand (left) and Joan Farahmand (right)

Joan had already been volunteering for two years in the Math Rules! program at the Nathan Hale School in Roxbury when Rosemary returned to Boston after working in New York City. Rosemary was heading back to school and had some spare time, and she wanted to make the most of it. Since Joan was having such a great time in the Boston Public Schools, Rosemary thought she’d give it a try, too.

As luck would have it, the mother-daughter team ended up serving in the same second and third grade classrooms at the Hale. They find that working together enhances the experience for both of them.

“Rosemary is my lifesaver this year, because I was a little bit outnumbered in the beginning,” Joan said. “The kids have many unique needs, and it was difficult to help each individual student. Volunteering with my daughter, I’m really impressed on how she’s doing with the kids and how selfless she is.”

After living under the same roof for decades, it’s this interaction that gives Joan and Rosemary the chance to see a side of each other they may have otherwise missed.

“I like seeing how my mom interacts with the kids because I didn’t have much experience with kids before,” Rosemary said. “I’m learning from her how one should handle students. And now my mom and I have some inside jokes. We talk [about school] at home, and it makes my sisters jealous.”

The Farahmands bring a special family dynamic to the classroom, often leaning on one another for assistance. If one student is having a tough day, Joan will work with him one-on-one while Rosemary works with the rest of the group. This small but mighty team is working together to answer the call for additional student support in the Boston Public Schools. The pair wholeheartedly believes that anyone with the ability to help should. As a result, both women gain personal satisfaction and fulfillment from volunteering.

“At this point, I just feel like we’re making a big difference,” Joan said.

They’ve seen a very shy student become the “multiplication master” due to her increased confidence in math. One student has health issues, but has amazing resilience and positivity in spite of it. The women see these experiences as a lesson “to stay positive, even when we’re feeling down.”

The Farahmands have an unbreakable bond as mother and daughter, but this experience has made them closer as friends. This Mother’s Day, consider giving mom what she truly wants–the gift of quality time with her children.

The mother-daughter duo has grown closer because of their volunteer work.

The mother-daughter duo has grown closer because of their volunteer work.