Paige Allison Je Cai Chu Barnes was born in Guangzhou, China. She was raised by her adopted parents in Wyoming, Ohio and was actively involved with the student body of Wyoming High School as a member of the prom court, a student council representative, and served as both secretary and treasurer of the student body. She spent a her time outside of school in dance and performed in a variety of shows including Sleeping Beauty , Snow White , and Le Corsaire , throughout her high school years. She was also the runner-up for Junior Miss Ohio in 2018. She graduated high school with the intent of pursuing higher education. When she decided on Columbia College Chicago, she originally chose to pursue a double major in dance and journalism, but ultimately opted to focus on the latter with a concentration in broadcast.
She has worked at Columbia as a student ambassador, a news editor for Columbia’s Chronicle newspaper, and a residents' assistant before and during the outbreak of the coronavirus. She first heard about the virus in January of 2020 and it came to affect her housing and job situation with the announcement of the college’s shutdown.
Over the course of the Illinois lockdown, Paige moved into an apartment in Chicago with her significant other and learned to adapt to life in quarantine. She continued to work as an editor for the Columbia Chronicle while managing the life of a student at home attending online classes.
Columbia College Chicago
dance, journalism, the Chronicle, COVID-19, pandemic, Chicago, Illinois, United States, coronavirus
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Schmelter, Alex, "Interview with Paige Barnes" (2020). Capturing Quarantine Oral Histories. 13.