Central Washington University senior Payton Swinford has been appointed to the Washington Student Achievement Council, where he will serve a one-year term as the student representative, according to a news release.

As a first-generation college student, Swinford said he wants to remove educational barriers for people who haven’t traditionally had access to higher education. During his term on the WSAC, he plans to work toward removing systemic inequities in higher education.

Swinford is studying history and social studies teaching, and he would like to become a secondary education instructor so he can help young people reach their potential in life. He comes from a background in political organizing, including LGBTQ advocacy, helping secure school funding in south Kitsap County, and working to elect progressive political candidates.

The nine-member WSAC is made up of five citizens, including one current student, plus one representative from each of the state’s four most prominent education sectors — independent, nonprofit higher education, four-year institutions, community and technical colleges, and K-12.

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