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11-year-old boy offers ‘emotional advice’ to subway patrons for $2


By Crystal Bonvillian

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

BROOKLYN — Ciro Ortiz is perhaps the most unconventional therapist his “clients” have ever turned to.

The 11-year-old Brooklyn resident has taken to setting up his booth on a subway platform each Sunday. His “Peanuts”-inspired card table announces that he can give those waiting for their train “emotional advice” for $2.

The New York Post reported that Ciro, a sixth-grader, decided to offer advice to others after being bullied at school. His parents, nonprofit marketing director Adam Ortiz and poet Jasmine Aequitas, support their son’s endeavor and, each Sunday, one or both of them accompanies him to the Bedford Avenue subway station to let him work for a couple of hours.

“Ciro is really sensitive, and he’s had a hard time,” Aequitas told The Post. “The first day he was out there, he was very nervous and unsure of himself. A few Sundays later, he’s come back saying, ‘I’ve met so many wonderful people. I’m gonna end up having so many friends.’”

His parents said that Ciro’s advice to his clients has been on point.

“Somebody came up to us and said that what he told her is what she’d been feeling in her gut that whole time,” Ortiz told the newspaper.

Ciro is garnering much praise on social media.

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One couple in a session with Ciro sought advice on how to handle the wife’s conversion to being a vegan. The husband was unhappy with her choice.

“I told him that she didn’t get mad at him for eating meat,” Ciro told The Post. “She likes to eat what she wants, and he likes to eat whatever he wants, so they’re just going to have to deal with it.”

Though Ciro loves comic books and playing “Minecraft,” his parents said that he has not done a lot of shopping for himself with his earnings, which average about $50 per afternoon. Instead, he spends it on classmates.

“He buys food or snacks at school for kids who can’t afford them,” Ortiz said.

Ciro said that the most prevalent problem he’s helped people with is change. A lot of his clients have trouble accepting it.

“We have to accept [change],” he told The Post. “It’s going to happen. It’s always going to happen. Life is always changing.”

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