The U.S. Philatelic Classics Society is dedicated to engaging young people in the collection and study of classic U.S. stamps. One area of the Society’s engagement is through its support of the American Philatelic Society’s Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship (YPLF). Since 2010, the Classics Society has sponsored one participant per year in this exciting Youth Philately program.
The YPLF was founded in 2008 by USPCS Life Member and former Publicist Alex Haimann in partnership with the American Philatelic Society. The YPLF’s purpose is to seek out and engage the most enthusiastic young stamp collectors (ages 13-25) in United States. Once in the program, the YPLF provides for these young collectors to attend the events and visit the places that make philately exciting including the APS winter AmeriStamp show, the summer StampShow, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society’s headquarters. Each Fellow chooses one of three Tracks (Author, Dealer or Exhibitor) in which they will complete a number of projects related to that Track. Throughout the course of the yearlong Fellowship, these Youth Fellows interact with a number of adult mentors who will guide each Fellow through their chosen Track.
John Phillips, the 2010-11 U.S. Philatelic Classics Society Fellow was a 9th grade student from southern Illinois (near St. Louis). John embarked upon the Exhibitor Track deciding to greatly improve an existing exhibit, America By Water. The highlights of John’s exhibit center around his 19th century steamboat & inland waterway covers. To fulfill the requirements of this track, John connected with more than a dozen national exhibitors, judges and other important figures in the philatelic world including USPCS President John Barwis, Janet Klug, John Hotchner, Tom Lera, Dr. Elizabeth Nettles, David Eeles, Ada Prill and Van Siegling for guidance and other critical assistance in the further development of his exhibit.
In mid-February 2011, John gave a presentation at a Webster Groves Stamp Club meeting about his collecting and exhibiting experiences. The Webster Groves Stamp Club regularly attracts high profile collectors and exhibitors to give presentations at their twice-monthly meetings. For instance, former USPCS President Wade Saadi will gave a presentation on his collecting specialty at the meeting coinciding with the 2011 St. Louis Stamp Expo. You can view a video of John’s presentation below.
John graduated from the YPLF at the 2011 APS StampShow in Columbus, Ohio. Following his graduation, John continued to work on his primary collecting interest and exhibit. In August 2012, John’s exhibit American By Water won the Youth Champion of Champions Award. The Youth C of C is the most prestigious annual award given to an exhibitor under the age of 18.