This 11-Year-Old Emotional Advice Guru Is Brooklyn’s New Subway Psychologist

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While many are just crawling out of bed on Sunday at noon, 11-year-old Ciro Ortiz has already set up a card table at the Bedford Avenue L train stop so that he can start his side hustle. For the past nine Sundays, the sixth-grader has offered five-minute counseling sessions to passersby for $2. From noon to 2 p.m., he listens to people and gives them emotional advice. “It’s a good way to give back and make money,” he told the New York Post.

It’s a little steeper than what you’d pay for Lucy’s words of wisdom, but he gives pretty sound advice. He met with one couple who were at odds because the wife recently became vegan. Ciro told the husband that he had no choice but to accept it. “I told him that she didn’t get mad at him for eating meat,” Ciro said. “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.”

The MS 577 students admits he doesn’t really care for school. However, he’s on the honor roll and excels in math and science. Ciro told his father that flexing his entrepreneurial muscles is helping him make so many new friends, something that hasn’t always come easy for him at school, where he’s been the victim of bullying. It’s these experiences that pushed him to start his own mini-business.

On his most successful days, he makes about $50. Unlike a lemonade stand, there’s no overheard costs. So he can literally pocket his entire profits, or spend his money recklessly, as many 11 years olds would certainly do. However, Ciro hasn’t blown his money on “Minecraft” and comic books. He’s spreading more positivity into the world instead. “He buys food or snacks at school for kids who can’t afford them,” his father, Adam Ortiz, said. “He’s not selfish with his money.”

That’s probably why his parents don’t mind giving up part of their Sunday so that their son lives out his dream.