ARIZONA, US - Whether it be a lack of motivation on the part of students or low family/community expectations, ambition at the school had traditionally been lacking, to say the least.

Keen to dare his students to dream, and looking to lift their rate of continuing on to higher education, almuni and now teacher at the school, Joshua Murray, 25, decided he'd try an unorthodox method of motivation.

He promised to tattoo the names of any of his students who received at least $5000 in scholarship funding to further their education.

A year-and-a-half later, Murray, who teaches a college preparation program, has inked 28 names of students in two neat rows on his body.

Some of the students have received full scholarships, others partial monetary assistance to ensure they are well on their way to achieving their new lofty dreams.

For many, Murray's own story has proven hugely motivating.

"He means a lot to me, and he really changed my life," Sierra Espinoza, a student in his prep class, told Fox 10 Phoenix news. "I can't explain it, I have no words."

The passionate teacher says it's his purpose to ensure his students achieve their dreams and to help them strive for a future they didn't know was possible.

"I know it sounds so corny, but really they are the reason why I wake up every morning and go to work," he said.

"I wake up 5am, I'm like, 'let's do this', and I get here early, and I am always happy to do my job because it's for them. This is their future."