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11-Year-Old Charges $2 for 'Emotional Advice' at New York Subway Station

An 11-year-old New York boy has found a novel way to make some extra cash -- charging $2 for "emotional advice" at a subway station. Ciro Ortiz, 11, a sixth-grader from the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn, has been setting up shop on Sundays at the Bedford L train stop with a sign offering "emotional advice" for $2.

The boy's Peanuts-esque setup gained widespread attention after a commuter snapped a photo of him in action and posted it to Twitter, where it went viral. "It's a good way to give back and make money," Ciro told the New York Post. The boy said he makes up to $50 in two hours on a busy Sunday.

"Ciro is really sensitive and he's had a hard time," mother Jasmine Aequitas, 35, said. "The first day he was out there [on the subway platform, giving counseling], 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.'"
Dad Adam Ortiz, 36, said Ciro has the emotional intelligence to help people far older than him. "He's always been much more mature than whatever grade he was in," the proud father said. Ciro said the most common problem he encounters is adults having trouble with changes in their lives.

"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 said. "We have to accept [change]. It's going to happen -- it's always going to happen. Life is always changing."

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