This 11-Year-Old Kid Is Inspiring New York Subway Riders In The Most Selfless Way

Every Sunday, between the hours of midday and 2:00 p.m., New Yorkers can seek help at Bedford L subway station in Brooklyn. Yes, for just $2, these commuters will receive guidance on all manner of topics. But who is the kind stranger helping others through their hardships? Well, it’s an 11-year-old boy called Ciro Ortiz

Sixth-grader Ciro Ortiz lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn, with his mom, Jasmine Aequitas, and dad, Adam Ortiz. Like many kids his age, Ortiz loves playing Minecraft and reading comics but hates school. However, this last problem is because Ortiz hasn’t always had the easiest time at school.

In fact, Ortiz has dealt with his fair share of bullies over the years. “Some kids are only nice to you if you are into what they’re into,” he explained to Upworthy in a December 2016 email. “I’m not going to force myself to be someone I’m not.”

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But rather than let the bullies get him down, Ortiz decided to channel his ordeal into something more positive. In fact, one day the kid was watching TV when he was struck by an awesome idea. He thought, “Why not set myself up as an advice counselor for New York’s hoards of stressed-out commuters?”

Ortiz figured that in a city of over eight million people, there was bound to be plenty of folk who needed some friendly support. And, as the schoolboy told Upworthy, “I think I’m wise enough to give good advice!” Therefore, he decided to become an emotional advisor.

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Ortiz consulted his dad, who was completely on board with the idea. “I don’t make much money,” Ortiz’s dad explained to Metro.co.uk in December 2016. “One night he was just inspired to try an idea of how he could make his own. I was supportive of the idea and the next day we went into Williamsburg and set up the stand on the street.”

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After all, Ortiz’s parents work hard to support their son’s ambitions in life. Most of all, though, they’ve always had faith in their little boy’s abilities. “He’s always been much more mature than whatever grade he was in,” his dad said.

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So, one weekend, Ortiz set out his stall in his local subway station. His modest office consisted of a fold-out table, two chairs and a homemade sign stating, “Emotional Advice $2.” Though his business may have been simple, it wasn’t long before he drew in clients.

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At first, Ortiz admitted, he was a little bit worried that people might not take his services seriously. “I didn’t know if people were going to stare or laugh at me,” he explained to Upworthy. But, he added, people soon changed their tune when they “saw that I was taking it seriously.”

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Now, every Sunday Ortiz spends two hours of his time listening to other people’s problems. Yes, for just $2, New Yorkers can offload about their relationship, work and family problems to a sympathetic 11-year-old boy. And amazingly, no one seems to bat an eyelid at Ortiz’s young age.

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“People ask about their relationships, about being confused in what to do with their life, or… Donald Trump,” Ortiz told Metro.co.uk. But no matter what he’s confronted with, the young shrink’s words of wisdom are always the same. “I just tell them to look at the simplicity of their problem,” he said.

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Still, he’s noticed another problem adults have: their inability to accept change. “They feel a certain way in the past and when they look [back] in hindsight, they say things were so much better back then,” he explained to the New York Post. “We have to accept [change]. It’s going to happen — it’s always going to happen. Life is always changing.”

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And Ortiz’s clients seem more than happy with his advice. “Somebody came up to us and said that what he told her is what she’d been feeling in her gut that whole time,” the young counselor’s dad revealed. So it seems that the boy’s innocence can speak right to strangers’ hearts.

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In another session, Ortiz provided some marital advice to a couple having a dietary dispute. In fact, the husband didn’t appreciate his partner’s recent vegan conversion. “I told him that she didn’t get mad at him for eating meat,” Ortiz revealed to the Post. “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.”

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It’s little wonder, then, that his parents couldn’t be prouder of Ortiz’ unusual venture. They don’t even mind spending their weekends at their son’s subterranean subway station office. In fact, his parents are so happy for their son that they’ve taken to Instagram to document his exploits.

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Posting under the guise of “Emotional Advice Kid,” Ortiz has already amassed an impressive amount of followers. Indeed, more than 2,000 people follow the youngster’s counsel on social media. And some of his heartwarming images have been liked over 100 times.

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Suffice to say, Ortiz’ simplistic outlook has proven to be immensely popular. After all, on a busy day he can take up to $50. However, the selfless spirit isn’t keeping the wealth to himself. No, Ortiz shares his money with children at school who are not otherwise able to afford lunch.

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And it’s not just Ortiz helping others. Indeed, his clients are having a positive effect on him too. “Ciro is really sensitive and he’s had a hard time,” his mom told the New York Post in December 2016. “The first day he was out there, he was very nervous and unsure of himself. [But] 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.’”

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One thing’s for sure, Ortiz has a bright future ahead of him. In fact, when he’s not sharing his wisdom with the rest of the Big Apple, he’s doing well at school and is even on the honor roll. And with his new-found confidence things are only likely to get better.

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However, despite all his success, Ortiz has no intention of becoming a therapist in later life. Instead, he has his sights set on becoming a video-game developer. But for now, you can find him in his usual spot every Sunday, getting people to deal with their problems by looking at them through the eyes of a child.

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