Sisters at Cleveland State awarded Valley Forge trip

Sisters at Cleveland State awarded Valley Forge trip

Cleveland Daily Banner Staff
Wednesday, June 8, 2022 12:00 AM
TBR, Service-Learning, Students, All, Cooperative Education

This article was orginally posted by the Cleveland Daily Banner on June 06, 2022.

Two sisters from Cleveland State recently explored American history and government in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Estee Gray and Rebecca Ratcliff are sisters from Bradley County. Two years ago, Gray won the prestigious Freedoms Foundation’s National Award  ⏤ the George Washington Honor Medal ⏤ for her essay on American history. 
The COVID-19 global pandemic took away the chance for Gray to receive her trip to Valley Forge in Pennsylvania as a reward for winning. Nevertheless, an opportunity arose for Gray and her sister, Ratcliff, to take an all-expenses-paid trip together this year. 
Ratcliff is a dual-enrolled student at Cleveland State through the Tennessee Valley Early College Program. Ratcliff and Gray both have a love for history and the American government. Ratcliff found the opportunity for her older sister to chaperone the trip so both could enjoy Valley Forge together.  
They were among the students from across the nation who gathered at Valley Forge to engage in activities aimed at teaching them about the nation’s history. The sisters got to tour several parts of Valley Forge such as the Encampment, George Washington’s Headquarters and the many memorials and statues throughout the area. 
“Throughout the trip, my sister and I would be in awe at what we saw and learned,” Gray said in a Cleveland state press release. “Even though we both share a love for American history, we both learned so much and found each part so fascinating. I loved how at the end of the day we came together and spoke of each detail that we liked and got even more excited for the next day.”
Each day was focused on a different aspect of leadership or government. Students had the chance to listen and talk with historians on the Cold War and current foreign events and even visited historic Philadelphia where they saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Congress Hall.
Gray and Ratcliff both plan to graduate from Cleveland State. Gray plans to go directly into the workforce while Ratcliff hopes to be a traveling musician for an orchestra or even a professor of history. 

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