"YPLF is the best way for younger people [to learn from] the people with the most knowledge of philately at the highest levels."
This spring, APS Development Assistant Erin Seamans spoke with Dzintars Grinfelds about the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship program, a scholarship program run by the American Philatelic Society. YPLF supports young philatelists, offers them unique opportunities to attend stamp shows across the country, and connects them with experienced mentors in the philatelic world.
Dzintars was a Fellow in the Class of 2012 on the Author track. He currently works as a Digital Assistant at the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco-based professional basketball team.
Read the full interview below.
Erin: Hi Dzintars, thank you for joining me and telling me about your YPLF experiences. My first question is why did you choose to apply for the fellowship? Did you have expectations about what you might accomplish?
Dzintars: I thought that with my experience in philately both nationally and internationally, I could bring a different perspective to the program. Plus I joined as a writer, which is far different from what I had done in the past as an exhibitor and judge. I can’t say I expected to accomplish anything personally, I just wanted to be a resource for the program and other people affiliated with the program.
So you were already involved in the hobby, I see. Is there anything new about philately that YPLF taught you?
I can’t say I learned anything new about philately . . . . because I had been in it for so long. But I was able to learn and highlight new skillsets. I never wanted to be a writer, but now I use [those skills] almost daily at work as a writer for the Golden State Warriors.
I'm curious, have you been able to stay involved in the philatelic community since you were in YPLF?
It’s rough for me to participate right now. At this time, work consumes most of my life. I have sent my exhibits out to competitions, but I have not been able to edit and upgrade them. I hope to do some studying on the mail rates of Central Lithuania and submit an article on it to some newsletters, but even that requires research I do not have time for at the moment.
You mentioned that you currently work for the Golden State Warriors, which is really cool. Would you say that being a part of YPLF helped with your work?
I currently write articles and blogs for the Golden State Warriors. YPLF was probably the first chance I had to focus on long-form writing of any kind and apply it to something other than my studies. Merging writing with topics I enjoy helped me improve my writing skills.
What are your long-term goals in philately?
If I had more time, I’d love to prepare my exhibits to compete in more international shows, do more research on my areas of expertise, and write an updated specialized catalogue on the philately of Central Lithuania.
Awesome. I have one final question: What would you say to someone considering joining YPLF?
Do it! There is less and less access to the people with the most knowledge of philately at the highest levels. So YPLF is the best way for younger people to learn how to exhibit their collections, judge exhibits, and be the most involved in philately.
Thank you for your time and for sharing your experience.
Are you wondering if you or someone you know should apply for the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship Program? Check out the exciting perks of being a Fellow!
- Receive a one-year APS membership
- Choose an area of interest: Author, Curator, Dealer, Designer, Exhibitor & Analyst
- Learn from an adult mentor
- Attend the Great American Stamp Show and Spring Meeting
- Attend Summer Seminar on Philately at the American Philatelic Center
- Interact with stamp collectors from around the United States