Search form


Andrew Nolan, Young Volunteer of the Year

Photo by David Trozzo

As a high school student, Andrew Nolan never expected to operate a cottage food industry, let alone during a pandemic. 

When the pandemic hit, Andrew wanted to help so he baked a few loaves of bread for a West Annapolis pop-up food pantry. When dropping off the loaves, Andrew saw the number of cars snaked in the parking lot waiting to receive donations. It was then he went into action mode. Using the structure of an Eagle Scout Project, Andrew developed a proposal, got it approved, and began setting up a bread-baking volunteer enterprise. After researching federal and state law about individuals baking bread for donation, he obtained permission from the Anne Arundel County Health Department to operate as a cottage food industry. Then, he rallied his friends, neighbors, and fellow scouts to bake bread for county residents in need. Andrew not only provided safety guidelines, training, recipes, and hand-crafted bread kits to all his volunteers, he also handled the logistics of purchasing and maintaining an inventory of flour, yeast, bread bags, and labels. 

“This effort took tremendous planning and leadership by Andrew,” said Tatiana Klein, nominator and Marshall Hope Program Coordinator. “Andrew’s idea of having volunteers bake bread for the hungry helped fill a tremendous need in our county. This innovative approach allowed anyone to participate, even during a quarantine.”

Tatiana, a 2022 Celebration of Philanthropy awardee, said that the initiative was intended to last six weeks but instead spanned over five months since the need was so great. Involving more than 70 individuals and 600+ hours, Andrew and his volunteers provided more than 1,000 loaves of bread to the West Annapolis Pop-Up Pantry.

“Andrew has always stood out as a leader and as an individual that is quick to identify needs and jump in to assist,” said Troop 115 Scoutmaster Bob Peterson, who explained that in addition to the bread baking project during the pandemic, Andrew also mentored new scouts. “Andrew engaged with the young scouts via Zoom multiple times each week, teaching them skills and assigning work.”

Beyond the pandemic, Andrew has also been an integral part of many programs that Tatiana runs for the immigrant youth in Anne Arundel County. “He has filled so many roles and contributed so much it is difficult to quantify,” she said. “He has served as a tutor, coach, cook, camp counselor, fundraiser, bike mechanic, swimming instructor, organizer, volunteer leader, and, most importantly, as a role model and friend to dozens of young children and teenagers. Helping others in need is part of Andrew’s DNA.”

When Andrew was a summer camp counselor, he recognized that few, if any, of the young students knew how to swim. Andrew then organized a swim program as part of the summer camp. “In true Andrew fashion, Andrew put together the entire program by contacting county pools, identifying space, soliciting fellow swimmers to teach, and executing the twice-weekly sessions during the summer,” said Tatiana. To date, more than 50 children have learned the basic skills of swimming through Andrew’s program. 

Andrew was nominated by the Marshall Hope Corporation.

Learn more about Andrew at the 23nd Annual Celebration of Philanthropy on November 17th.

The Young Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to an individual student or youth group (elementary through college) who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and/or leadership. 

Go back to 2023 Awardees