| Kaitlyn "Sommer" DeRudder, Author Track
USPS Federal Credit Union Fellow
Tenacious, happy, and energetic Kaitlyn “Sommer” DeRudder is a Fellow in the Class of 2017 of the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship. DeRudder, a high school senior and honor student, lives in southern California where she is active in Model U.N., soccer and lifeguarding. Sommer is also the youngest female Certified BBQ Judge!
During StampShow 2016 in Portland, Oregon, an exhibit about Hitler youth caught Sommer’s eye –- understandable as Germany (1872–1950) is her main collecting interest. She poured over the 10-frame exhibit for over an hour and was fortunate to actually meet the exhibit’s creator who provided Sommer with a “tour”, where she was privy to the story behind each frame.
Strengthening her philatelic knowledge is one of Sommer’s goals she plans to accomplish during her year as a YPLF Fellow, while meeting other young collectors is a secondary objective. She cites her proudest philatelic moments as being selected for the YPLF program and her efforts to become proficient in a new language, the language needed for understanding German stamps. Ms. DeRudder looks forward to telling philatelic stories during her year as a Fellow in the author track.
Sommer’s philatelic interests are guided by the mantra that collectors must serve as guardians of stamps in order to protect and preserve history for future generations. As a “guardian”, Sommer feels a sense of purpose as she and her father work to document German history with using philatelic material. She can’t think of a better way to enlighten fellow enthusiasts than by detailing history through words and philately!
| Ian Hunter, Dealer Track
Central Atlantic Stamp Dealers Association Fellow
Ian Hunter, a Fellow in the Class of 2017 of the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship, is naturally curious, a keen observer, and an avid learner. At the age of 11, Hunter was intrigued by his older sister’s collection of stamps. Competitive by nature, as most young boys are with their sisters, Ian soon began racing her to the mailbox in order to be the first to claim items for his collection.
Over the past six years, Ian’s competitiveness with his sister has evolved into a passion for anything philatelic. He loves studying and researching items he comes across. Ian is able to appreciate a stamp’s delicate beauty, admire its intricacies, and anticipate the story behind a stamp.
The 1919 2c George Washington (Scott 500) is one of Ian’s favorites. As a new collector he thought that he had the Scott 500 in his collection, and was under that impression for several years. However, after developing better identification skills, he realized it was a Scott 499. Since that time, he has been able to add two different mint Scott 500s to his collection.
For over a year, this homeschooled high school senior from the state of Illinois has successfully operated his own stamp store on eBay and more recently began an educational blog focused on new collectors. Ian posts informational articles in order to share his love of collecting with others and, hopefully, to inspire others to take up the hobby. His blog can be found at stampcollectingspot.com. When not immersed in the stamp world, Ian enjoys internet marketing, chess, basketball, and playing the drums.
During his year as a YPLF Fellow, Ian hopes to expand his knowledge of philately and meet many of the people that he has read about. He describes his fellowship opportunity as a "wide open door, beckoning me to delve into the very heart of the philatelic community." Ian is especially excited about having the chance to learn from seasoned stamp dealers; their stories, business methods, and tricks of the trade. Additionally, Ian desires to develop the knowledge and leadership skills necessary for leading his generation beyond a passing interest in stamps to a real passion for engaging in philatelic pursuits.
| Jessica Rodriguex, Exhibit Track
Lauson H. Stone Fellow, sponsored by Harlan F. Stone and Helen M. Galatan-Stone in memory of Harlan’s father.
Jessica Rodriguex, a collector of U.S. classics and Costa Rica, is a Fellow in the 2017 Class of the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship program. Jessica is currently a senior at San Jose State University. In addition to the demand of college life and her numerous philatelic endeavors, Jessica is interested in fashion design, behavioral analysis, Boston terriers, and Disneyland!
As a child, Jessica listened to her grandfather’s stories about his stamp collection and often helped him by cutting mounts and attending stamp shows. After her grandfather’s passing, Jessica became determined to preserve and maintain his collection; however, she didn’t know where to begin. At her grandmother’s urging, Jessica attended a local stamp club meeting, where both she and her grandmother were warmly welcomed. Ms. Rodriguex not only received answers to her many questions but the assistance she needed to continue her grandfather’s collection as well. Jessica joined the San Jose Stamp Club that evening!
One of this new YPLF Fellow’s favorite philatelic item is a Scott Boy Scout Album that first belonged to her great-grandfather, who gave it to her grandfather. In the short time that Jessica has been an active collector, she has become involved in the WESTPEX planning committee, is editor of the San Jose Stamp Club newsletter, and is the awards and hospitality chair for Filatelic Fiesta. In addition to being an APS member, she also holds memberships in the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, Sequoia Stamp Club, and in the Society for Costa Rican Stamp Collectors,In order to explore her family’s history and heritage, Jessica has chosen to focus on the exhibitor track during her YPLF Fellowship year. She describes joining the YPLF Class of 2017 as “a great opportunity” which will allow her to become a better collector, exhibitor, and a future leader in philately. Ms. Rodriguex sees YPLF as an opportunity and a responsibility “to become fully immersed in the philatelic community” and plans to learn as much as she can so that she can then share her insights and knowledge with other young philatelists.
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