08/21/2009 (P1653)
Contact: Gretchen Moody

Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship is Launched!

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The American Philatelic Society proudly announces the successful launch of the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship’s inaugural year. On Saturday August 8, 2009, the YPLF’s first three Fellows — James Chenevert, Melissa Stanton, and Jimmy Tian — were officially introduced during the APS General Membership Meeting at the 2009 STAMPSHOW in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The YPLF’s purpose is to seek out and engage the most enthusiastic youth stamp collectors. Each Fellow chooses a particular track (Dealer, Author, or Exhibitor) in which he/she will complete a number of projects related to their track of choice. Throughout the course of the year, the YPLF brings each Fellow to two annual APS summer stamp shows, the winter APS AMERISTAMP EXPO, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, and the American Philatelic Center. Aside from experiencing these exciting shows and centers of American philately, the Fellows work with a number of volunteer adult mentors in order to successfully finish the various projects within the Fellowship tracks.

James Chenevert, originally from Georgia, is thirteen years old and currently resides with his family in Bangalore, India. James has selected the Exhibitor Track as his focus for the upcoming year. In late February 2009, the United States Stamp Society decided to sponsor a YPLF Fellow for the 2009–2010 year. Due to this generous support, Melissa Stanton has been selected as the 2009–2010 United States Stamp Society Fellow. Melissa is fifteen and currently lives in Pennsylvania. For her year in the Fellowship, Melissa has chosen to participate in the Author Track. Fifteen year-old Jimmy Tian resides in Michigan and has chosen to tackle the challenges of the Dealer Track for the upcoming year.

“It has been quite a whirlwind over the past several weeks preparing James, Melissa and Jimmy for the start of the Fellowship year,” stated Gretchen Moody, Director of Education for the American Philatelic Society and the primary coordinator of the YPLF. “Their enthusiasm is contagious and I am thankful for the strong support of their families.”

In the planning and fund-raising stages since Alex Haimann’s Tiffany Dinner speech at the APS AMERISTAMP show in January 2008, the YPLF has emerged as one of the most promising youth-oriented programs in organized philately. Over the course of the eighteen months of preparation, dozens of individuals, local stamp clubs, and national philatelic societies from across the United States answered the unique call to support this dynamic youth program.

“These three Fellows and the ones that will follow them are the future leaders of this hobby. The manner in which so many current adult leaders, collectors, exhibitors, writers and dealers throughout the philatelic world have embraced this program and welcomed these three YPLF Fellows foreshadows a very bright future for organized philately in the United States,” proclaimed Alex Haimann, Founder of the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship.

In addition to the launch of the YPLF’s inaugural year, the APS is pleased to announce that the board of the United States Philatelic Classics Society at the APS STAMPSHOW voted to sponsor a YPLF Fellow for the 2010–2011 year. Other ways to support the YPLF are available at www.stampfellowship.org. If you are aware of enthusiastic young collectors who may be interested in the YPLF, contact Gretchen Moody, APS Director of Education.