Member Spotlight: Silas Ernst

APS’ YPLF Program:  The YPLF Program connects young stamp collectors between the ages of 16 and 24 with knowledgeable philatelic leaders and access to unique learning experiences. 

Source: YPLF – Class of 2022 Introduction and GASS Experience (

Silas Ernst (GMCSC Member #492)

Did you know that the GMCSC has a club member that is a participant in the APS’ 2022 Young Philatelic Leadership Fellows (YPLF) program?   Well, we do!  Silas Ernst has been a member of the club since 2022.  While Silas’ schedule and studies don’t always allow him to join us at the Club Meetings, he has been a regular helper at Expo in the Young Collector’s room.

Silas, 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 and later shows helped to further his collecting pursuits. Over the following years, he narrowed his collection to focus on the US general issues. Silas is currently working on an analysis of the pigments found on the German Hyperinflation Issues of 1923 for his YPLF project. He attends Crosspoint Christian School, where he is entering his senior year of high school.

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!”

Silas has a presentation coming up on his project that he has to give at GASS ’23 in Cleveland in August.  As a club, we should all be excited about having a member involved in YPLF.  It is Silas and the other young philatelist that give us hope that the future of the hobby that we all love and enjoy has a bright future.  I am sure that we have one or two other members of the club that will be excellent candidates for the YPLF program in the coming years!

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