The YPLF program connects young stamp collectors between the ages of 16 and 24 with knowledgeable philatelic leaders and access to unique learning experiences. Click here to learn more about the program.
We asked some of the Young Philatelic Leadership Fellows to share their experiences at the Great American Stamp Show, as well as provide a brief introduction of their stamp collecting background. The YPLF class played an important part in the show, mostly helping with the YPLF booth as well as handing out awards at the show banquet.
The group also got to spend time with "NPM Winton M. Blount Research Chair Susan Smith and NPM Chief Curator Dan Piazza, who spent an hour at GASS meeting the new class of Young Philatelic Leadership Fellows." , as Daniel mentions in his NPM Notebook AP column.
Below are brief introductions to the class of 2022 as well as their thoughts about the show:
Trevor Bills, the Donald and Bonnie Lee Fellow, sponsored by Jim Lee in memory of his parents, is from Cypress, Texas. He is a collector of U.S. and worldwide stamps, first day & special event covers, and postal stationery, and is also a cachet and post card designer. This budding postmark expert began collecting interesting postmarks as a young child. In fact, during a family trip across the U.S., a stop was made at every post office encountered so Trevor could send post cards to himself, complete with each post office’s hand cancel.
Trevor attends Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, where he is double majoring in Marketing and Management, is active in over 20 student organizations, and serves as the Student Body President.
The APS staff were all wonderful. I think it’s interesting to see how everyone has gotten involved with the APS, and how many of the staff members didn’t have any particular interest in stamps or philately before deciding to work at the APS. This is nice because it allows for the team to have a diverse background and get a wide variety of perspectives. For instance, I spoke with Chris a lot about his role as a digital content creator and manager of the APS social media, which was particularly interesting to me because of my background in Marketing, and he mentioned that his favorite part of philately is the stories people have that connect to the stamps, and that he likes sharing those stories through the APS social media channels. Although Chris didn’t start out as a stamp collector, he brought his expertise in content creation to the APS and became interested in philately along the way, which is really cool.
Silas Ernst, the Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions Fellow, is from Pacific, Missouri. The discovery of an Utz potato chip can full of used stamps and covers in his grandmother’s attic ignited Silas’ interest in stamp collecting. Subsequently, his experiences at the 2014 St. Louis Stamp Expo helped to expand his collecting pursuits. Silas currently enjoys delving into philatelic expertizing and the scientific analysis of stamps and hopes to gain a deeper understanding of forensics and stamp identification during his fellowship year. Silas attends Crosspoint Christian School, where he is currently a junior.
When I think about my experience at GASS 2022, one word seems to come to mind: fascinating. ... A major part of the show that I enjoyed attending was the First Day Ceremony. I thought that it was neat that almost everyone who spoke during the program had a personal connection to the pony cars featured on the new stamps. Throughout the show I also had the opportunity to meet different people from the APS, and it was great to be able to talk to people in person after reading their columns in the American Philatelist. ... While I was at the show, I also attended two seminars, one on analytical philately and the other on preserving philatelic books. I enjoyed both seminars, and I was able to gain a better understanding of what my YPLF track may involve from the seminar on analytical philately. Overall, I would have to say that the time I spent at GASS in Sacramento was the most exciting time I’ve had at a stamp show!
Bethany Hunter, the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society Fellow, is from Mount Carroll, Illinois. She is the 6th child out of ten and likes to think of herself as the oldest of the younger half of her siblings. Bethany describes her collection as, “a small treasure trove of cool stamps.” Her collection includes stamps from all over the world, with her favorites being the ones that depict an interesting moment in history. Bethany considers stamp collecting to be a way to connect with the past and learn from people long forgotten. Bethany is a homeschooled high school senior; whose favorite subjects are history and writing.
The Great American Stamp Show in Sacramento was a privilege to attend. I have looked forward to the YPLF since I was twelve. From Ian’s stories about his trips, I had a pretty good idea of what the show would be like. This show, however, surpassed my expectations in many ways. Not the least of which was that it gave more life and learning experiences than I had expected. ...Overall, it was a very interesting experience. I learned a lot and was forced out of my shell. That was one of the most useful things I gleaned from this experience. I even went to a soiree! I never thought I’d be invited to one of those. I loved my time there, and I am looking forward to next time.
Victor Livesay, the Alfredo Frohlich Fellow, sponsored by Alex Haimann, is from Greenville, Ohio. Intrigued by the designs and images observed during evenings spent looking through albums with his father, Victor began his own philatelic journey at a very young age. U.S. classics and private die proprietary stamps are the focal points of his collection. He loves the feelings he gets when he finds a scarcely-seen, attractive item, and especially enjoys when a unique item jumps off of an album page. Victor attends the Ohio State University where he is majoring in mechanical engineering.
Be on the lookout for more YPLF content coming soon!