High school counselor uses money she makes as a Lyft driver to help students

Carolyn Jane Wrinkle is a loyal driver for ridehailing company Lyft.  But that's just her side gig.  Her day job is working at Jarrell High School.

"I'm a high school guidance counselor, I do testing for AP and SAT and ACT and TSI," Wrinkle said.

She started driving for Lyft two years ago during the hustle and bustle of the Austin City Limits Music Festival and she hasn't turned back since. "I loved it, I fell in love with the people because being a people person…as a counselor," Wrinkle said.

Carolyn's kids are already grown so being a longtime educator, she started using the extra money to help out her "other" kids -- students at Jarrell High.

Wrinkle says when she can she'll help a student pay for college testing.

"Going to college is great when they get accepted.  However they still have to take the TSI test and if you go to a local campus it's $30 and that's an expense that a lot of families can't afford," she said.

And as any parent or teacher knows, school supplies can get expensive.

"Well we've got 3-ring binders, erasers, pencils," Wrinkle said as she showed us a stockpile of supplies a student might need...tucked away in a cabinet in Wrinkle's office for any student to take advantage of if they realize they've forgotten something. 

With tax-free weekend kicking off, she's hoping to add to the collection. "I'm planning to drive all weekend so that I can have school supplies and take advantage of the tax-free sales," she said.

Wrinkle will share with teachers as well.

"All of us are taking pay cuts in education this year because of the rise in healthcare so if we can provide teachers with those to give out or to provide a place for kids to come get supplies," Wrinkle said.

Sometimes Wrinkle's generosity with her Lyft-driving money goes even deeper.  She says last year one of her students wasn't going to be able to walk with her graduating class because her family was going through hard times and she couldn't afford a cap and gown.

"I had had a great night at Lyft that weekend and had some extra cash so I paid for her to go get her graduation gown.  We took care of that, we got with the companies.  We got her on the senior trip so that was a memory she has with her classmates forever," she said.

For Carolyn Wrinkle, the reasons for being so selfless with her extra income are simple. "Because I'm in education and I don't mean to get emotional but I love kids.  You don't do public education if you don't love kids and you don't love your families.  And I love what I do...absolutely love what I do," Wrinkle said.

Tax-free weekend is underway. You can shop Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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