Bringing issues of social justice and equity into the current discourse regarding public education continues to face many challenges, particularly in Southern California (Callahan, 2005; Olsen, 2010; Valenzuela, Prieto, & Hamilton, 2007). For example, Latino students whose native language is not English are forced to struggle through an education system designed to assimilate them into the English-only meritocracy, often at the expense of their native tongue and heritage (Cross, 2007; Fine, Jaffe-Walter, Pedraza, Futch, & Stoudt, 2008; Valenzuela et al., 2007). Furthermore, the existing focus on standardized testing results, as well as traditional, quantitative research methods to explain such results, leaves little space for counternarratives against the status quo to emerge. Without such counternarratives, systemic change and empowerment for linguistically marginalized students cannot be obtained on the widespread level necessary for social transformation (Duncan-Andrade & Morrell, 2008; Freire, 2007; Wink, 2005). The scope of this project was to employ nontraditional research methods, including participatory action research and practices grounded in critical pedagogy, for the express purpose of examining how linguistically marginalized students contextualize their identities and educational journeys. By creating spaces for the three focus groups consisting of linguistically disenfranchised students at the middle school, high school, and college levels to dialogue regarding their educational experiences and concepts of individual and group identity, it was possible to gather a rich collection of data. Furthermore, a sense of mutual respect and confianza developed between the researcher and participants and additionally allowed for the emergence of personal stories and insights that simply would not have been possible via a survey or less personal research approach. The findings that emerged during the course of this project indicated a narrow set of educational options currently available to Latino and Latina students whose first language is not English. Specifically, the existing educational pathways available to students from linguistically disenfranchised groups were found to be extremely limiting and thereby pushed students toward assimilation into the status quo of the dominant society. However, the process of critical pedagogy and problem posing used during this project additionally gave rise to counternarratives and spaces for hope.