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This study explores the means in which adolescent ELLs make connections between their cultural identities and planning future goals. Based upon studies and research by Ajayi, 2006, Banks, 1997, 2006, Graham & Hebert, 2010, Jacobs, 2001, Miller, 2003, 2007, and Phinney, 2007, 2008, the qualitative study used the reading of two novels, Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz-Ryan and The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan, to explore the issues of cultural identity, decision making and improved writing skills through a reflective journal writing process. Twelve students in two middle school direct instruction ESL classes were studied. Results indicate that students view bilingualism and multiculturalism as an asset which may allow them to be agents of change in their communities. Actual student writing skills and student perceptions of their writing skills improved over the course of the study.