Unlike most children his age, who like to spend their free time doing stuff that kids do, 11-year-old Ciro Ortiz has taken upon himself to give strangers a chance to get some emotional counseling.
Sitting at his make-shift "advice booth," the sixth-grader has been calming the nerves of travelers at Bedford L train stop in Williamsburg, a subway stop in Brooklyn.
Ortiz decided to set up his booth after being bullied at school. He charges $2 for five minutes of “emotional advice.”
He’s been at it every Sunday since October and makes about $50 each week. He uses the money he earns to buy food and snacks for children at his school who can't afford it.
Most of the people he talks to are not happy with the way things have changed over the years. His advice to them is to accept change.
“It’s going to happen – it’s always going to happen. Life is always changing,” he says.
A married couple who sought out his help had the husband revealing he had trouble with the fact that his wife had recently gone vegan.
“I told him that she didn't get mad at him for eating meat,” Ortiz responded.
“She likes to eat what she wants and he likes to eat whatever he wants so they're just gonna have to deal with it.”
He seems to have very sensible advice for someone so young. Perhaps, it's the most simplest and commonest of things that can solve most of our problems - we just need someone to point them out to us.