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Corey touched thousands of lives around the world. This memorial fund will sponsor tuition costs for children in Talas, where he served with the Peace Corps.
Brett Jones
Talas City, Талас Шаары, Город Т
5 Team Members

2/11/13 Update: The memorial patch design has been finished and is available here: http://screencast.com/t/0GgjJPpj

Corey James Hilber and the Meaning of Talawesome

Corey James Hilber was magnetic, generous, caring, funny, and deeply kind. No one who met him came away unchanged. He was many things to many people--an educator, a volunteer, a summer-camp leader, an accordion master--but most of all, he was a friend. 

On Saturday, December 15, 2012, Corey died. 

This scholarship fund for children in Talas City, Kyrgyzstan, where Corey lived and served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer, will ensure that his legacy lives on.  Our words here cannot possibly do Corey justice, but we hope that they will provide an opportunity to honor his life in the way he would have wanted most: by helping other people, and paying our own opportunities forward into the world. 

This project will create approximately 10 1-year scholarships to the prestigious Talas City Turkish Lyceum, to be delivered to bright and deserving students who cannot afford the tuition. At a cost of $2,000 per year, the Lyceum is normally out of reach for all but the most affluent Kyrgyz families. However, when underprivileged children are given the opportunity to attend private school, they are inducted into a world that is often transformative; they enter a path that leads toward professionalization, success, and a better life for themselves and their communities. 

This project is being administered by Brett Jones and Miles Rinehart, two Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who served with Corey. Miles, who still lives and works in Kyrgyzstan, will oversee the ground operations of the scholarship in Talas City. Its name--"Talawesome"--is a word coined by Corey himself in 2010. Emblematic of his wit and spirit, "Talawesome" describes Corey's work, his world, and his attitude better than any other word could. 

What We Need & What You Get

The peculiar number we have set has not been pulled out of thin air. $21,276.60 represents exactly 1,000,000 Kyrgyz som. By raising a million som, we will be posthumously putting Corey in the "Manas Million" club, a fundraising goal for many Peace Corps Volunteers who have served, or who are serving, in Kyrgyzstan. As a Manas Millionaire, Corey's impact on the Kyrgyz community will live on.

"Perks" are coming as this project develops.  If you donated before a perk was added, please leave a comment here and your perk will be sent.

Anyone who donates $50 or more to this scholarship fund will receive a full report of the project's progress and impact by July, 2013.

All donors who donate at or above the $212.76 level will receive a custom made Peace Corps patch with Corey's name embroidered on it--details about this to come later.  

Impact & Implementation

Because the average Kyrgyz family earns somewhere between $600 and $800 per year, there is a significant pool of highly intelligent and powerfully motivated Talas students who believe that a good education is a luxury rather than something they deserve. 

A donation of any amount to this scholarship will put a dent in this pervasive inequality, and will go towards ensuring that more children have a fighting chance in this tough country. Anyone who has ever served in Kyrgyzstan, or who has even heard about Kyrgyzstan, knows about the adversity faced by Kyrgyz children; it is impossible to know these communities without being inspired by their unrelenting tenacity, and being convicted, for a lifetime, by how far a dollar can go towards making their lives better.  

When this project is funded, Miles will issue a call for scholarship essays in the Talas City area.  Miles, Brett, and anyone else interested in helping will judge the essays and select award recipients.  

Other Ways You Can Help

If you cannot donate, share this with someone you care about.  

If you would like to help edit this page, join the ad-hoc committee to oversee the administration of this project including its finances, create a memorial video that actually does Corey justice, or simply send your photos and stories, please contact mr.brettwjones@gmail.com, or 801-395-4447. 

Thank you for your donation.  


raised by 210 people in 4 months
108% funded
No time left
$21,276 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 30, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $11USD
    One Day of School

    Sponsor one day of tuition, room, books, and boarding for an underprivileged student in Talas City. Donors at this level will be emailed a photo of the school and scholarship recipients.

    16 out of 1000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $50USD
    Project report

    A project report about the Corey James Hilber Scholarship's progress and impact

    51 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $55USD
    One Week of School

    Sponsor one week of tuition, room, books, and boarding for an underprivileged student in Talas City. Donors at this level will be mailed a photo of the school and scholarship recipients.

    9 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $100USD
    Sweet Ride

    A picture, a project report, and a custom-made bumper sticker that reads “My other car is a маршрутка!" Yeah, this one really appeals to a limited audience...still...it's pretty cool.

    17 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $212USD
    Memorial Patch

    Image coming soon. A custom made patch which states "In Memoriam Corey Hilber 1985--2012. Talawesome."

    18 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $222USD
    One Month of School

    Sponsor one month of tuition, room, books, and boarding for an underprivileged student in Talas City. You will receive all of the perks for all levels below, plus a hand-written thank you card from the students impacted by this scholarship.

    11 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $1,000USD
    Personal video from Kyrgyzstan

    Donors at this level of the scholarship will receive all benefits below, including photos and a video of their donation at work in Talas City, Krygyzstan.

    1 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $2,000USD
    One Year of School

    All of the benefits below, plus you will receive a Kyrgyz kalpak, the national hat of Kyrgyzstan (http://bit.ly/VkI7ry)

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $8,000USD
    The Full Ride

    The report, video, patch, kalpak, thank-you notes, pictures, and four custom felted, Kyrgyz shurdaks (http://bit.ly/VkIwdq colors may vary.)

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
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