Brought to you by TRL-South Carolina with guest speakers Sherry Sousa and Julie Brown. Participants will envision an evidence-based structured literacy program through the lens of an adolescent emerging reader. Aspects of leadership are discussed by a pioneering superintendent whose dedication to equity led to the first public high school structured literacy program in her state. Successful instructional approaches designed specifically for older students’ unique social and emotional needs are presented by a special educator. Outcomes and anecdotes are shared throughout the hour, painting a picture of our program’s emphasis on success and dignity. Reflections from adolescents highlight the central role reading plays in building belonging—inspiring educators and administrators to meet the needs of struggling older students with urgency, expertise, compassion, and joy.