Students leave mark on inspiring teacher

- The heartwarming story begins with a high school alum who returned to his alma mater to teach, and making it his goal to find unique ways to inspire his students everyday.

The students, in turn, are literally leaving a mark on the teacher as well.

One can say Joshua Murray is a man with a mission. He teaches at Agua Fria High School. For many students at that school, college is something they have never even imagined.

"None of my family has ever went to college, so I'd probably be another one who wouldn't go to college," said Gustavo Cervantes, who is a senior at Agua Fria High School.

Not going to collage was likely Cervantes' plan, until he met Mr. Murray. For other students, Murray's impact was equally profound.

"He means a lot to me," said Sierra Espinoza, also a senior at Agua Fria High School. "He really changed my life. I can't explain it. I have no words."

Espinoza is one of many in Agua Fria's Avid College Prep program. Many students are inspired by their 25-year-old teacher, during the first three years of his career.

"I know it sounds so corny, but really they are the reason why I wake up every morning and go to work," said Murray. "I work up 5:00 a.m., 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."

The students may not have known, but a year and a half ago, they made an impact on Murray, when Murray made a promise to the students that made them get to work.

Murray said he will tattoo the names of each student who gets at least $5,000 in scholarships onto his body. There are 28 students.

"He's a crazy guy," remarked Adrian Garcia, a senior at Agua Fria High School.

As students reach their goal, Murray tattooed their names on his body. In a sense, it's true that the students have left a mark on Murray.

As much as Murray has left a positive mark and impact on these student's lives, in the years, perhaps decades, to come.

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