This study explores the thinking and decisions of Vera (pseudonym), a Hispanic elementary teacher, while she enacted a reform-based science curriculum in an urban school in the southern United States. Vera's thinking, decisions, experiences, and practices were documented over a 2-year period. Using the data collected from semistructured interviews, participant observations and classroom documents, a rich and complex case study of Vera is developed in this paper. This case study describes how Vera makes curricular choices from reform-based science curricula such as the LiFE curriculum; how she enacts those choices to empower poor urban minority students; how Vera believes that preparing students for the high-stakes test is empowering because it ensures continued schooling for students; how, for Vera, teaching connected science using students' lived experiences is a risky act; and how she uses negotiation in her science teaching.