STAYTON — Regis St. Mary High School seniors Courage Minten, Eli Stuckart and Roger Cheng started a special community project at the beginning of the school year. Their goal: Give Courage’s siblings currently living in Ghana, West Africa, the opportunity to attend private school.

In Ghana, the public school system is overcrowded and students attend classes only three months of the year. But for students who have the privilege of attending a private school, the future is much brighter. A private education expands future employment opportunities, and a good job can have a significant impact on a family’s economic outlook.

The average cost to educate a child each year in private school in Ghana is $1,500. Courage’s sister Abigail is 17 and currently in 12th grade. His brother Derick is 15 and in ninth grade. If Courage raises the total goal of $6,500, his siblings will be able to finish their education at a private school over the next four years. The total raised to date is $2,852.

Minten was born in Ghana and lived in an orphanage with his siblings after his father died when the boy was 13 years old. In 2011, he met Alex Minten from Stayton while she was on a mission in Ghana and was working at the orphanage. After further discussion with her parents, Russ and Kim Minten, about the conditions in which Courage lived, the family pursued adoption. Courage became part of the Minten family in 2014 and moved to Stayton, where he currently attends Regis St. Mary.

Courage started this project with hopes of providing his siblings with better opportunities. His willingness to serve his family is an example to the entire community of what one person, with vision, faith and a little courage, is capable of doing, school staff said.

“My adoption taught me I had a significant level of patience inside me that allowed me to believe that everything would work out in the end, and anything is possible if you set your mind to it, have a positive attitude and have faith in God,” said Courage.